As I sit and think the next day, I wonder if I had been targeted in some scam attempt. After all, I'd done the right thing. It was the normal thing. I'd run out to the other person leaving, taking her computer to her.
Isn't that the normal thing? Someone leaves something behind, you go after them.
Isn't that normal?
"You're in my seat," she began by telling me after she walked into the coffee shop.
She was dressed in sweatpants and a tee shirt. I laughed, thinking it a joke, perhaps a reference to a television show, "The Big Bang Theory". A character, Sheldon Cooper, is particular about where he sits.
Although joking, she wasn't aware of the show. "No, I used to come here a lot. I haven't been here for a while. That's where I used to sit."
I understand that. I have preferred sitting locations. "No problem, I understand." I told her about TBBT. She wasn't familiar with the show.
She told her own story about a friend who came to her house to count her drug money. "She always wanted to sit in the same seat. I didn't know why. I didn't know she was selling drugs. Meth. She was my friend's friend and she became my friend. My friend used to house sit for me when I was away on location because I'm a location manager for independent film makers. My friend would come and water the plants and feed the dog and whatever I needed to be done so when she asked if she could bring her friend, I was all like, sure, why not? I didn't know she was selling drugs."
TMI, my brain said as my face smiled. I was typing and not interested in maintaining conversations but I try being polite and civil.
Fortunately, she's the same. "Let me let you get back to your business," she said, turning away.
We went quiet for a while.
"Excuse me, but is a password needed to connect to the Internet here?" she asked me.
We went through strings of sentences about her efforts to connect to the Internet, her computer, and how she came to be in this lowly state. This was a new computer, just purchased at WalMart but less than $400 and she said, why not buy it. She has four computers at home but there are different things wrong with them. She wanted a MacBook but she didn't have the money for it so she tried this but she bought it fifteen days ago and their electronicis policy is that they won't take it back after fourteen days. It has Windows 8 and she's never used that and she has Safari on it and she's trying to connect to Facebook but it won't let her connect.
What? my mind asked while my face smiled and my head nodded. "I see," my mouth managed. I didn't see much out of all of that. She was distracting me with a technical issue. I wanted to help her resolve what should be a simple technical issue but I didn't want to hear more confessions.
I showed her the necessary steps to connect, and there was the connection. Somehow, though, she managed not to connect, while telling me more about her life than interested me at the time.
Again, she thanked me for my help. I returned to my typing.
Slamming her computer shut, she bussed her table and walked away.
I looked up. Her computer was on the table.
She was leaving her computer. Surely that was an oversight.
She passed by me on the other side of the window. I rapped it for her attention. She didn't notice.
I pondered her computer, left behind, a Gateway, bought at WalMart for $400 one day over two weeks before. She seemed flighty so I picked up the computer and went after her.
I found her in a blue Mercedes 280 SE and knocked on her window. She opened the passenger door for me. "You left your computer," I said. I put it on the seat.
"Yes, I'm leaving it for someone else," she said. That launched her into a new diatribe about everything turning to shit in her life, starting with her Android smart phone. She talked about her Mercedes and how the guy who sold it to her had cheated her, how she had lost her house, how she had been living with the guy who made the movies, "Behind the Green Door" and "The Devil and Miss Jones". He was 72 and she was 42 and he was married but supposed to be getting a divorce but he never did and she ended up losing her house. She has forty acres outside of town and she remembers the times when she would bike into town and buy her food in bulk and now she was starting over.
What? my brain asked as my face smiled and my head nodded. All of me fought impulses to offer to help her. "Sorry for your troubles," all of me managed during a break in her monologue. "Good luck. Take care."
My feet carried me back into the coffee shop. She might be looking for knight in shining armor or she may have just been a friendly person.
She was definitely a character.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com