The maths professor with thick rimmed copper bronze round spectacles gives an impromptu personal session to the young blonde student. It was a fortuitous meet. She approached him stuck with some homework. They discuss gradients and equations. He says to her, looking over the rims, you did well in your SP 7, I was impressed with you. She chews the end of her pen, like a 6 th form girl. He’s friendly and accommodating.
The Asian guys outside in the cool spring late afternoon smoke and drink coffee. One pulls his red black stripe rugby shirt over his hands, crosses his arms across his chest to keep warm. Northern weather doesn’t suit this tropical bird.
A police car crawls curiously up the cobbled pedestrian zone.
There’s a naturally orange haired young man talking to a girl with unnaturally dyed orange hair. They make quite a match. An unusual Starbucks scene.
The barista tidies stale coffee pots and wipes tables as a DHL van reverses to make a delivery.
The student look is quite trampy. Trampy as in a vagabond way. It’s an overly casual vintage retro shambles of clashing prints and colours. Shabby chic women in dad’s out of shape cardies and raggy mended dresses they pretend belonged to their gran. There’s a handful of them in here, pale and interesting English roses. When does shabby chic, just become shabby?
The guy in the seat next to me, smart professional, wafts his just smoked baccy cigarette smell all over me. Yuk! And then he packs up his lappy, gives me his newspaper and leaves.
Starbucks begins to empty an hour before closing time. The maths professors’ spectacle frames twinkle and the light from them dance to a piped Latin American folksy tune.
Outside, students walk by in their colourful onesy outfits. There’s Tigger and a leopard and a red spotted something or other. The evening drinking begins as afternoon melts away like my drink and I sit, patiently through the bullshit of excuse messages that from this Starbucks perspective, I simply don’t recognise. It’s different negotiating a date with an American. I’m missing all the American dating rules and nuances and ques. I’m missing all the complicated status, can I be seen with you stuff, I clearly am not catering to his American up-tight, I need you to look like a Barbie doll nonsense.
A fleetingly out of place school girl passes in an infeasably short skirt. No this one is not fancily dressed.
Lardy bottoms bulging in leggings. Sporty guys showing half a leg in shorts Skinny legged types with baggy harem bums.
The DHL driver unloads the ale for next doors pub, while a grandma with a worn and tired face sits against the poster filled interior wall in a juxtaposition with advertisements for gigs and culture and the general student pizzazz.
Two guys dressed in red trousers and identical blue shirts stand in view of the window. Student twins? I thought only girls did this but no. Wait a third in the same uniform. My God! Triplets! Wednesday is clearly student night. But wait. Most nights are student nights.
The date I am waiting for cancels. Turns out he’s messaging me from across the room saying he’s stuck on a British motorway somewhere. Beware the bullshitter smelling of Starbucks coffee. I call him rude and cowardly and shallow. Thank God, I am his Barbie juxtaposition.
But then, I’m not so much bothered about the date cancelling, but I do have a twinge of regret for not bringing a Pooh bear onesy with me.