This song, “Goodbye Stranger”, arrived in the stream after watching people at the coffee shop and on the streets, and inadvertently eavesdropping (they speak, I have ears…it happens).
A woman regularly brings her dog into the coffee shop. She usually sits back by the community table, where I like to work when I can. Her dog is often a cause for conversations with others. So I’ve learned that her dog is a rescue from an animal hoarding situation, that she’s had to work with him, that his name is Atlas, that he does much better now, but that other dogs’ barking makes him nervous, that he is her service dog. I’ve learned others had dogs like him, or saved from similar situations. He’s often compared to a Ridgeback but he isn’t one, not a true Ridgeback, she says.
But I’ve never heard her name, or why she needs a service dog, nor why she is bald. She wears dark glasses, but she watches people, back from her space by the wall, with her service dog beside her…
I’ve decided that I don’t want coffee shop friendships. I’m there to work. Cruel of me, innit? So I keep myself to myself, but as I leave each time, I feel her eyes watch me, and imagine I turn my head and say, “Goodbye, stranger.”
But I don’t. It has caused the 1979 Supertramp song to find itself in my stream.