John Tang

Java Beach on a Friday Night

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on April 10, 2010

Java Beach on a Friday Night


Java Beach was filled on a Friday night, many of whom were focused on studies, financial aid, and socializing. There was an older couple outside the window sill. Two older folks dress freely. One was in a loose cotton, teal blouse while the man had homeless demeanor in the ashy beard and pony tail hanging under fisherhat brim. Yet tonight he had hint of class, as the commoners would say, in the pinstripe jacket fitting his slim body.  Although only a café on the shore, he brought a glass of wine for him and his date, tri-tip sandwiches on a white plate brimming under the Open sign. Twenty minutes later they left together on the bus waiting at the stop, the T-section.

Old Man Entering

This man had a beard rooting to the chest. Had a brown hat and a plastic cane. He struggled for balance, getting to the counter and grabbed the spine of a wooden seat. There was another man, more polished in a coffee sweater, leather shoes, and khakis, also, too, an older man. And his beard was trimmed, squaring off the dry lips.

“These are for someone.” The gentleman said. “Someone’s sitting here.”

“I almost slipped.” The old man turned. “And you’re an asshole.”

The friend who came sat at the table appeared so surprised by the comment, as the man was at the door by now, cursing to himself. He didn’t buy a cup.

Folk Singer

Playing was acoustic folk music in the corner, between two leather couches, under a cap of light. The old man wore a leather vest, pink and flesh revealing, legs crossed with the guitar on his lap. Before him on the table was a scratched-up pitcher, the bottom filled with some change. Beside him was another man who had a laptop, talking about the air outside.

“It’s nice out tonight.”

Before he began another set, I put a dollar in quarters, so I could make it to the bars later tonight.

Buying Coffee

The wooden counter had a glassy feel, a thickness preserving the wood underneath. The server slid a paper cup, where at arms-reach was a line of black coffee brewers. Mine, Hazelnut, was at the end of the row. Two packets of the pink packet of sugar. A third of the cup filled with half and half whip cream. Stirred until a light brown spreads.



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