Overheard at an East Village café. Morning.
A boy has been waiting for about 15 minutes, playing on his phone. He’s young, black, dressed in a weird cabbie hat and scarf. He orders his coffee with a Southern drawl. When his date walks in, he acts like he’s been drawing in his sketch pad. She’s Asian, curvy with a beaded necklace and expensive strappy boots. She sits down like she’s been on a hellish journey.
Boy: I hope this place is okay.
Girl: It’s fine. Long way from Brooklyn though.
Boy: So do you use Tinder a lot?
Girl: This is the first time.
An awkward pause.
Boy: (lying) Me too.
Another awkward pause.
Boy: Yeah so like I said in my profile, I’m an art student.
Girl: What’s that like?
Boy: It’s awesome.
Girl: (sounds stupid) Cool.
Boy: You’re a designer?
Girl: Well, I work for this horrible man. Basically do everything for him and get paid nothing. I work forever. 18 hour days sometimes. But anything can be design, you know it’s just —
Boy: (joking) Wow. Long hours. No pay. That sounds like slavery.
Girl: (excited someone finally understands) It is like slavery!
They order breakfast. She gets a double cheeseburger, all the way. With fries and and a large coke. He gets a muffin.
Girl: Not hungry?
Boy: I’m vegan so I don’t have a lot of options.
Girl: You’re a vegan?
Girl: (excited) I’m psychic!
Boy: (laughs) What?
Girl: It’s not funny. I look at the stars.
Boy: I took an astronomy class last semester.
Girl: Not like that. I’m spiritual.
Boy: Yeah. I mean. I definitely think there’s more to the world than just this. I mean. Anything could be true right?
Girl: No this is absolutely true. I can read people.
Boy: I almost majored in Psychology for a bit. I know a little about the mind.
Girl: (are you dumb?) No. Astrology!
Their food comes. Boy is looking at like he’s ready to bolt. Girl is glad he’s still there.
Girl: (apropos of nothing) It’s just hard living in this city. People don’t understand spirituality. And everyone on Facebook, they’re all having beautiful lives. They’re always in the Hamptons.
Boy: I couldn’t live like that. Money corrupts.
Girl: I wish I could summer in the Hamptons. You want the rest of my burger?
Boy: Vegan. Remember?
Girl: Do you believe in seeing the future?
Boy: I worked in a gallery in Houston. I met this woman there and she had just had surgery and I was like, I feel like you’ve had more surgery. She had just gotten a double mastectomy. She showed me her scars.
Girl: (excited) So you can feel the spirituality sometimes, too?
Boy: She came to New York to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in five years and she said, “You got a haircut.”
Girl: So she was a gypsy? She put a spell on you.
Boy: I don’t think so…
Girl: I can make it rain on command.
Boy: Yeah my brother has a bum knee. He always knows when it’s going to rain.
Girl: No, I can make it rain just by thinking about rain.
Boy: (looking for the exits) That’s cool. I mean. Do you ever read Joseph Campbell?
A long pause.
Girl: Tell me more about the gypsy.
Boy: Not a gypsy. But yeah. She took me to this weird party when she came to visit. Everyone was wearing white.
Girl: It was Labor Day?
Boy: I don’t think so. Anyway after that we went to the Armory show. I’d never been.
Girl: I saw Donald Trump at the Armory.
Boy: Wait, what? I saw Donald Trump! Last year at the Armory?
Girl: I tried on a $10 million ring with him.
Boy: I was wearing my vagabond clothes. It was so fancy. It was awesome.
Girl hands Boy her phone.
Girl: Here watch this video of me and Donald while I go to the bathroom.
She leaves. Boy watches video. Waiter comes and Boy pays the check. Then he flips through all the pictures in her phone before she comes back.
Boy: You wanta get out of here?
Boy: My dorm is right around the corner. Do you smoke weed?
Girl: I smoke clove cigarettes.
They leave. Happy.