I visited a cafe recently and listened to an old couple discussing the table of content for an energy bar. For five minutes. Both gave the impression that it was a serious and intriguing topic, worthy of serious debate and analysis. “There’s a hint of toffee in here, don’t you think?”. “Yes, a small hint, isn’t it.” After a while they fell silent, blinking at each other, as if they were satisfied to be on the same page regarding the energy bar content. Perhaps it put other disagreements into perspective, finding common ground in something easier.
An ambulance flew by the window, it’s sirens screaming in the bright afternoon light. The couple took sips from their respective teas, served in D-cup shaped mugs, which made me think of the TV-show “Friends”. They were not pleasant thoughts.
It looked like their non-conversation had finally come to a close and silence took its place. It didn’t feel awkward, just two old people resting, taking in the afternoon bustle on the street outside. But then the man took another look at the bar, as if its existence presented a novelty worthy of more than a simple five-minute discussion. I stopped my urge to scream: “It’s a fucking glorified piece of chocolate.”
But instead I left, buying one of those energy bars on my way out. And as I left the cafe, while taking a bite from it, I thought: “hm, there is definitely a hint of toffee in here somewhere”.