The woman with the slick, black hair won’t stop talking.
Her voice is machinery as it bulldozes over the broken words of those around her,
Collecting their gravel in a heap at her feet.
The pearl choker around her neck isn’t doing anyone any favors.
Her companions’ eyes are glazed sugar as they fight the kind of sleep that only “Petertakeshiscoffeeblacknow” can induce.
And I would slip a pillow under their heads,
if they would not have me take that pillow to her ever flapping mouth teeth tongue.
But I would never.
She’s no evil entity (despite her protractor eyebrows sloping in the way all comic book villains do.)
I’d start a pillow fight.
Or give her a crossword.
(Although, they gave Aunt Ethel crosswords once, and she did them out loud in the back of a Lincoln across twelve states.)
Someone at the table staccatos that they must leave.
Her fellow companion collects his things and uses the break to babble that he must do the same.
During hugs, I meet eyes with one companion over the woman’s shoulder. She gives me a “stand down” glance , and I set the crossword back in my bag.
The companions boogie out the front door, him slightly pushing her from behind as they walk.
For a moment, the café is silent.
At the table, the slick haired woman pulls out her phone. At full volume,
Texting, texting, texting.