Speed run: should I have shared my table?

Yet again I’m up far too late (for me) on a Saturday night watching videos online, distracting myself from trying to think of a proper blog post topic for the day. I’ll try not to take too long writing this one. I’ve done speed runs before, why not again? Considering that I’ve indulged in a lot of podcasts and reading today I felt like I needed to veg watching intros to cartoon shows I remember from the eighties. I should have done that in the morning, considering Saturday morning cartoon shows are now a thing of the past. But instead I was watching a DVD set of the Babylon 5 spin-off television series, Crusade. I wanted to finish it so I could return it to the library in the morning.

Considering the fact that I get up early and that the show only lasted for thirteen episodes, I achieved my goal. I then put on a playlist of all of the podcasts I needed to catch up on while I showered, had lunch, and drove out for my errands. I returned the DVDs and picked up My Struggle Book 3 by Karl Ove Knausgård before heading out to downtown Portsmouth. There I stopped by the bank to get some cash for rent—I long ago ran out of checks and as it’s the only bill I used them for I never bothered ordering a new book. I then went down the street to my favorite coffee shop to catch up on some reading aside from the book I just borrowed.

I ordered a large decaf coffee. I’ve been cutting down on my caffeine heavily lately. I ultimately switched to a half-caffeinated blend which I lowered in increments to the point when I just ran out. I tried quitting altogether when that happened. However, I couldn’t stand the resulting headache at work on Thursday. As soon as I got out I headed to the grocery store and got  a cup of coffee along with a new can of the half-caffeinated blend. I might try this again. Honestly, I don’t care about the health effects, if any. I just want to cut down on dishes to clean.

Anyway, I sat there in the coffee shop with my decaf reading selections I recently loaded onto my Kindle. None of them were particularly heavy but there was a lot—a week’s worth of posts from blogs that I follow, a couple of articles written by David Byrne, poetry and some news feeds. As I was sitting at my table alone I became conscious very quickly that I sat at a table that could have easily held two people. It was the first available so I didn’t think anything of it at the time. But I looked up from time to time from my Kindle and saw that there were groups of people going in having to leave because it was so busy. A young woman sat at the table next to me. I’m guessing she’s a school teacher. It looked like she was grading papers. I kept thinking that I probably should have asked her if we could share, that I wouldn’t bother her while she worked at whatever she was doing, that I only wanted to read anyway. I was thinking about the other people there. But I never worked up the courage to ask. I didn’t want to seem like a creep. Besides, it wasn’t really that big a deal. But in my mind I ran through my head how I would ask and I realized my social awkwardness would have only made matters worse. I knew that I would blurt out that there were couples looking for a table. I knew that “groups” would have been better and “couples” would probably sound like I was implying something but it was the first thing that came to mind. She was attractive but I only wanted to read. So I stayed where I was.

I finished, picked up a twelve pack of beer nearby and headed home. After breakfast and jogging tomorrow morning I’ll get started on the library book. It looks like it may be shorter than the first two in the series but that could just be that the formatting is different. Either way I’ll have plenty of time to read the whole thing tomorrow.


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