Overheard at Julia’s

Hombre and I sit at a window table and behind me are two guys and a woman, all in their 30s. One guy holding forth – he has a resonant voice that intrudes upon our calm. He’s some kind of property management professional and he’s critiquing the performance of a woman he recently hired. He goes into great detail, and with great difficulty, I manage to tune him out. Finally, ten minutes later, he’s almost done. Last thing he says is that at least she brought some experience to the job. He shudders at the thought of having to train someone from scratch.

A short silence. The woman says, “She seems nice. (pause) Is she married?”

“No. Long-term boyfriend, though.”

Another short silence. Woman says, “You know what? How come she has a picture of her boyfriend on her desk and you don’t have a picture of me on yours?”

Awkward silence. Guy says, “Have you seen my desk? It’s overflowing.”

The woman goes on to joke that she’s going to give him a picture of her framed in a giant red heart. Later, as we leave, she’s talking about wedding favors and color schemes. He’s her fiance. He’s silent, spent.

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