The woman waiting for her cappuccino was standing at the counter, facing squarely into the work station, yelling to the barista.
“YEAH, NOW I’M RETHINKING IT, I’M RETHINKING THE WHOLE THING!”
Her cappuccino? She wanted to switch to a latte? But her tone wasn’t the slightly higher, “excuse me” pitch you use when you ask a barista to change your order. It was straight-out-there yelling over the noise, like they were friends. And yet the barista wasn’t acknowledging.
“I’M JUST REVISITING EVERYTHING ZACH EVER SAID. LIKE, HE NEVER JUST COMES OUT AND SAYS WHAT HE MEANS.”
Of course, this chick was just on her phone via earbuds. But it took a moment to put that together, because most people lower their voice self-consciously when they see people staring.
I was staring hard, since I consider myself invited to stare when someone shouts a conversation, phone or not. I’m now part of the dialog. You want me out of it, you have to look at me scoldingly and either start whispering or take it outside like it’s none of my business.
She never did that. While I gussied up my iced coffee (half a Splenda, then whole milk, then plastic lid, then straw and cardboard coffee sleeve that’s supposed to be for hot coffee but I like the buffer between cold wet cup and my hand), I got to hear much more about Zach.
“LIKE, ALSO, HERE’S THE THING ABOUT ZACH. HE DOESN’T PROVIDE CONTEXT. IT’S REALLY INCONSIDERATE AND SELF-CENTERED WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT. LIKE, HE’LL SAY, GEORGE WAS FIRED TODAY. WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO GEORGE IS. GEORGE WHO? HOLD ON, I NEED TO ASK FOR MILK. HEY, THIS IS EMPTY, CAN I GET SOME MORE? NO NOT YOU, I’M GETTING MILK. SO LIKE, WHO’S GEORGE, RIGHT? JUST ‘GEORGE WAS FIRED.’ CONTEXT, PLEASE! IT’S SO ANNOYING BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU ADDRESS THAT.”
And then, as I followed her out the door, trying to hear more about Zach, she shot me a scolding look. Too late!
You shout, I get to listen.