I’m going to write something unimportant, something that does not deserve notice or attention, written and ending in a flat register, without flourish or ornamentation (except, perhaps, by accident).

Last time I was here, two women in their sixties discussed food cravings (and the lack of others’s self control) for a full two hours. Today, on a table beside me, two girls (one married?) talk in depth about the foods they do and do not eat. Perhaps those conversations must be had, at a young age, in order to know, when they’re older, how trivial they are. But the older women have no experience being old: every moment, as they live it, is a new experience. That isn’t to say that they should be excused for being boring or petty (the young women, for instance, have moved on quickly to other topics, excusing or reducing the absurdity of their initial focus (“initial” only in the sense that that’s what they were talking about when I sat down)), but that the two older women should be excused, perhaps, for living (unknowingly?) a life that limits their attentions to the degree of self-control they demonstrate while encountering plates of food. It is difficult to see what is outside one’s perception, and it is for this reason that inexperience or pettiness can always be excused.

grey hair steps out of the car, struggling
with the wind, pot belly on two
spidery legs in slim black jeans
(to match the car), moves the chair
on its side, blocking the car’s path
and (parked illegally), sticks his cig
ash-out into his rearview mirror
where the wind enthusiastically
smokes it.

(for sake of completion
only, I’ll mention that, returning
to his car, he attempts a few drags
before getting back inside, but
finds the cigarette shortened, and
the wind in a playful mood,
spraying foam from his latte
into his face and onto
the street.

casting the cig to the
ground, grey hair gets back