I’m having a hard time composing this entry. It’s just a little vignette that may or may not have a point:
I woke up very early again this morning. There will be a brunch starting at 10, but I wanted to get some coffee, so I called L on the cellphone to chat and walked into town to go to Somecrust. When given a choice, I like to avoid the ubiquitous Starbucks and patronize the local places in a town.
Claremont, California is beautiful. And the Claremont College campuses are beautiful. Sprinklers are everywhere, running almost all the time, and it must be very expensive to keep things so green and lush in a part of the country without much rainfall. And housing is not cheap in this city. It makes me wonder about the people who are hired to do the gardening, the landscaping, the cleaning. How much do they make? Where do they live?
As I walked up to Somecrust, I saw a man I had noticed before who walks around the “village” streets sweeping the sidewalks and gutters. I’d seen him get a coffee from Somecrust before, and wondered, because of his mismatched shoes and may layers of clothing, if he’s homeless. He doesn’t wear a city uniform or have any other marker of civic employment, but there he is, sweeping away. I hung up with L and walked to the door. He was standing right in front of the door to the bakery, blocking the entrance; he was also holding his hand to his ear and mumbling, as if he were talking on a phone.
Oh, I thought, He’s making fun of me.
Me: “Good morning. Excuse me.”
Him, sort of irritated: “They don’t open until 7:00.”
Me: “Oh! They’re not open yet?”
Him, very sarcastic: “Is it 7:00? Is there a ‘Closed’ sign on the door?”
I just turned around and walked back to Starbucks, which was open, for a coffee and then found a sidewalk bench and called L back to continue our conversation. I couldn’t help but feel like I was just another jackass talking on his cellphone and drinking his Starbucks coffee. That’s not me. Or is it?