An Afternoon Conversation at Starbucks


I was tired and not getting anything done at home so I decided to take off and spend a few hours at one of my local Starbucks. So  I hopped in my truck, drove around the corner, parked, ran inside to grab my wallet, and then proceeded to continue on towards my destination.

I couldn’t help but enjoy the beautifully warm Southern California weather, and as there were plenty of available seats outside, and so that I would feel less guilty about not buying anything from Starbucks, I sat outside.

A lady I guess to be in her early thirties, sat down at a table across from me. I am still not sure what her story is–she kind of looked homeless but not really. Her backpack was an old and fading pink color and she had several plastic grocery bags of clothes perhaps. She also had a suitcase she was wheeling around and wore big, white sunglasses.

I was writing and out of the blue she turned to me and asked, “How was your day?”

“Um. Pretty good,” I said, not sure what to think about this random question from a girl I’ve never seen before.

“What have you done today?” she asked.

Odd isn’t it? “I had a class at this morning and I’ve been kind of taking it easy this afternoon.” It was a partial lie. I didn’t feel the need to tell her I’ve been tired all day.

“Class?” she said.

“Yeah. I’m a student at Fuller Seminary.”

“That is really cool you’re doing that.” she said. “Is it challenging?”

“Yeah. It’s challenging,” I said. “But challenging in a good way.”

“That is so good to be challenged,” she said, then continued. “I was challenged the other day. I was at a bus stop and there was a guy that just had this energy about him, you know? And it just made me tired and sleepy, like he just transferred his droopy eyelids to mine, you know? Like claymation. Like his tiredness just moved from his eyes to my eyes and face. I felt like I was on a stick of bubble gum, you know. I just felt lathargic and tired and sleepy being around him. Kind of weird don’t you think?”

I nodded.

She continued. “I was repulsed by him at first but I can’t seem to stop thinking about him. He’s so beautiful. He really is. It’s strange how someone can have that much power over you to make you suddenly feel sleepy and also be so beautiful. Weird, don’t you think?”

“Yeah,” I said. “That is pretty strange.”

“If you ever see someone like that, what do you do, you know what I mean? But really he is so beautiful. I’ve been obsessing about him ever since. I’ve been trying for two weeks to find him but I haven’t seen him.” Then, as though the thought suddenly occured to her, she asked, “Have you seen him?”

“No. I haven’t seen him,” I said.

“Oh. Well I wonder if he’s okay.”

“If you don’t know where he is, you can at least pray for him. God knows where he is  and cares about him,” I said.

She said, “I know, right? But it’s so weird that someone can have that kind of hold over you. If you see him, get away. Don’t go near him. ‘Cause someone with that kind of power is not good to be around, you know?”

I could only nod.

Then finally she said, “Well, it was good talking to you.” And she stood up and left.

About this time I thought it would be a good time for me to mosey on as well.


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