I walk over the rustic floor of my usual cafe, entering the doors after months. I look at my regular table. It’s this tiny table by the door with two chairs. You can always watch the door when you take this one. I sat there for the first time years ago, and I’ve done so for years. I look at the door a lot as I sip my coffee by myself, waiting for it to open unexpectedly. I’ve had reasons of my own. It’s all a ritual at this point. The door does open, more often when it’s a busy day, but it’s always to my disappointment.
It’s less of a table, really. It’s a single log, varnished and all. It’s almost circular, but not quite. I often use that extra space to rest my cup. In any case, it’s not a table for two. While the two chairs make it look like it, it’s more a table for one. It barely has any space on it. If one was to order anything along with a cup of coffee, the table would get all filled up. Two people could never eat on it together. Even if they did, they’d be spilling things over each other, or they’d be moving things a lot. The bottom line is, it’s a table for one person. It always has been in the five years I’ve taken it.
I walk towards it, my feet making their way out of habit. Suddenly, I look at the table far away, toward the window. Out the window, the sprawling hills, coloured by the blue hour. That one isn’t a small log in the corner near the door. It’s a proper table, with space for one and room for another. It’s as far away from the door as possible, and yet, it’s out in the open. It’s a booth obscured by plants on both sides. So, if one had someone else sitting across them, they’d only see their face and nothing else.
I walk towards the table by the window and slide onto the seat. The regular server greets me with the order pad in his hand, “Oh, are you dining with someone today?” I wonder why he never asked me that before, despite the faux chair and all. I shake my head. “No, not yet. I’ll have the usual, thank you.” He nods walks away. I look at the sprawling table and the empty seat, smiling. It’s a proper table, with room for another.
“Not yet?” I chuckle.