I’m sitting in the Starbucks near my work, enjoying my book over lunch hour. The place is packed with nannies and their brood, uninspired writers, web surfers and booming voiced Mr Know It Alls. Usual day, really.
I look up from my book as someone enters the cafe. He’s scruffy: wearing a slightly dirty hoodie, baggy pants and low slung back pack, like it was lazily put on his shoulders and allowed to slump past his shoulder blades. He walks into the cafe, looks around and heads towards the counter. My initial thought on seeing him was “Trouble…”
And then I thought I was being a bit heavy handed. “Dirty” people come into this Starbucks all the time – the neighbourhood is littered with post-war 2 storey dwellings that are constantly being reno-ed by guys, forever covered in plaster dust. Plus there’s a high school near by so younglings come in all the time, showing off whatever sloppy fashion choices are hot at that time. I decide I’m too judgmental.
“Dirty” comes back into my line of sight through the crowd and stands in front of the Milk station. He hesitates then takes the big glass sugar dispenser and stuffs it into his pocket.
Our eyes lock.
He doesn’t show any reaction to being discovered. He walks unhurriedly out of the Starbucks and digs into his other pocket for his flip phone.
And I think “Ugh… flip phone.”