While drinking coffee with my wife, I was distracted by a couple sitting at the table across from us. The young woman was a chatterbox, talked without taking a breath, and had a loud, twangy tone. The man, who was stout and wore a Yankees cap sideways, barely spoke.
The man’s gaze dropped to his phone, and every so often, he looked up to give her the indication that he was listening.
As time wore on, the man appeared increasingly uncomfortable—crossing his legs, uncrossing, holding his face in his hands, rotating his neck, standing up, sitting down.
It was as if he wanted to escape the situation but couldn’t.
The longer he endured the conversation, the more difficult it was for him to pay attention despite his chugging down one black coffee after another.
“What are you looking at?” my wife asked annoyingly. “You’ve been staring at that couple for the last thirty minutes.”
My wife was not the kind of person that gawked, but I was. I gave her a play by play of the situation so she would understand why I was so interested. “Honey, the man is drooling out of the corner of his mouth as the woman’s rambling appears to be utterly unbearable.”
“I can hear her,” my wife said. “But why don’t you finish your coffee before it gets cold. And you haven’t touched your scone.”
“Honey, the guy’s face is starting to twitch in spasm. Could you believe that?”
“I sure can,” my wife said with sarcasm.
She tapped my arm to get my attention.
I turned to her.
Once our eyes met, she said in a firm but soft voice, “That’s how you look when I’m talking to you.”