A stranger just sat down at my table at the coffee shop. He is eating some sort of cherry dessert. It’s 8:36 a.m. I am afraid to look at him to see if I know him. Should I? This is the neighborhood where I run into people that I know. He has a backpack with him and a laptop just like mine. It’s open and now it feels like we are dueling. Dueling laptops. His name is Garret. They just called it from the coffee bar. I wonder what kind of drink he ordered. It’s a small one. Half the size of mine. I wonder if he thinks it’s odd that he is sitting at a table with a stranger. This is way out of my comfort zone. There were other tables with extra seats. But I was the one sitting at a table for six. So maybe I asked for this? He is bald with nice glasses. He reminds me a little of my ex-husband. I feel like my typing is shaking the table. I am wearing headphones so that we don’t have to talk. I wonder if he is a writer, too. He’s probably working on finishing the best manuscript to ever exist. And I am sitting here typing about how he is eating a cherry scone at 8 a.m. He seems too thin to be able to eat that sort of thing for breakfast. I’m having a medium Americano topped with steamed soy with one and a half pumps of hazelnut. I wish it had two pumps. It’s not sweet enough. It tastes too much like coffee. Garret is now reading something intently and biting his fingernails. That’s the same way I read things intently. Maybe I am supposed to talk to him. What if he is the person who leads me to my next big thing. Maybe he is an editor from a publishing house just waiting to discover the surprising writer plucked from a very hot summer in the Midwest. I’ve noticed that we sit the same way. Holding our necks with our watch hands until we want to type something. He also likes to touch his mouth a lot. That’s how I get mouth zits. I wonder if he struggles with that, too. I wonder if he has any idea that I am writing about him. Typing what I see out of the corner of my eye. He is wearing plaid and an orange watch. I have orange sunglasses with me in my purse. Yesterday, I was reading something about how you never know why someone came into your life and then left it. But you also never know who is going to come into your life. Every day is a new opportunity to meet new people and to do new things. Garret is driving this point home even though I will never open my mouth and speak to him. I like the feeling of being in the city. Surrounded with people I don’t know. And some that I do. I know a guy at the coffee bar. He gave me a hug and told me that he is having foot issues but otherwise, his running is going great. A man in the corner owns a company I once interviewed with. He waved at me when I got here and I smiled, trying to remember where I knew him from. When they called his name for his coffee, I realized how I know him and also that I should have smiled bigger when he waved – and maybe even waved back or said, “hello.” I’m very bad at that. A few minutes later a photographer I know walked in. Asked how I was. I said great. He said, “That deserves a high-five.” And so we high-fived at 8 in the morning. It feels good to know people. I wonder if I should know Garret. My camera man is here. Did I tell you I was waiting on a camera man? That’s because he’s not really a camera man. He’s my co-worker who is good with a video camera and he’s getting ready to sit down at my table for six. I wonder if he thinks I know Garret? I whisper to him that I don’t know this person at the table and so the joke I needed to tell him in private will have to wait. I’m afraid to talk to strangers.