25 Presumptive Descriptions Of People In This Cafe


  1. Woman in her mid-thirties, possibly a lesbian, reading the “Sunday Styles” section of The New York Times, her face partially obscured by a Calvin Klein ad. Legs crossed like a man, wearing jeans, Lorazepam sheen, and converse all-stars.
  2. Asian female in black rim glasses studying profusely highlighted textbook with myriad of post-it notes bearing self-annotation; most likely studying law or business from the severity she exudes. Her latte is untouched.
  3. Attractive woman whose slender neck is unveiled under auburn hair tossed in a casual bun. Spent childhood summers in Europe in small towns 40 km from historic cities, her father a liberal arts professor; very “white,” in the sense that she seems vaguely annoyed at herself for being the kind of person she is.
  4. Three gay men happily sharing a table meant for two, in good spirits and perfectly pressed shirts.
  5. Somber woman with at least half-a-dozen barrettes in her hair, giving it the look of a wig which has been stapled into her cranium; eerily using her middle finger to make iPhone “do things” to which she does not react.
  6. Counter-culture 26-year-old man with ear gauges, thin mustache, and a large skull tattooed on his sternum being critical of latte foam design Barista — who has a recent art degree — sincerely poured.
  7. 90 lbs. woman with curly Jewish hair wearing a sheer silk blouse reading GOOD magazine, her fickleness towards the page she’s currently reading portrayed by its clasp between her index finger and thumb, as if any moment she could flip away.
  8. Unseen guy hopefully in the bathroom, his corduroy blazer and eco-friendly canvas tote bag trustingly hanging on the chair; a half-full glass of water marking his eternal optimism, its half-emptiness directing our attention towards his hypothetical trickle inside the bathroom.
  9. Well-adjusted couple seated ass-to-ass looking at week old photos of themselves on a tropical island, the man pointing at details of certain photos by which good memories are evoked, the woman leaning into him with a kiss, to corroborate her sentiments.
  10. Mexican busing tables at whom people feel mildly irritated when he buses their particular table — believing their mental space has been encroached upon, or even violated, however tentatively, to a small yet discernible degree.
  11. Someone using a thick book to stack their Kindle from which they read closer to them.
  12. Young woman with asymmetrical hair and choppy highlights intently hunched over laptop probably on Craigslist seeking a new living situation, having just been kicked out by her roommates due to heroin addict boyfriend.
  13. Man with archaic IBM ThinkPad, his fleece vest bearing the logo of the company whose convention he once went to, with left hand fully cupped over his mouth in concentration; wearing jeans two sizes too large, such that his gait resembles an elephant.
  14. Cute perky woman whose remarkable jacket, boots, miscellaneous jewelery, and tote bag were gotten from Etsy, in that everything on her seems mildly edgy but ultimately bourgeois and precious.
  15. Overweight guy with severe eyeglass prescription and acne in a black trench coat emphatically bent over his journal in which doodles depicting violent scenes involving women and dragons are drawn and later masturbated to.
  16. Woman in tight ponytail and post-workout clothes editing her wedding’s Williams Sonoma gift registry account, upping the price point, tapping away with newly manicured nails at items to which she feels entitled.
  17. Two girlfriends “dressed up for the day,” one whose green palette seems both unnatural yet pensively considered this morning, ordering their respective coffees with default abrasive “attitude” towards the cashier for no decipherable reason.
  18. Bald man in mid-forties with austere and literary beard who looks exactly like Michael Stipe does now, wearing huge North Face jacket and seemingly okay in general. Not everybody hurts.
  19. Young Indian man with sweatshirt from Ivy League school from which he received a B.S. in Computer Science expressing such knowledge by rapidly coding something he will soon make a lot of money with.
  20. Attractive hipster couple whose affected entry into the cafe assumes a much more abashed sensibility than their actual subtle ostentation actually allows, their perfectly frazzled DTF-hair and neck tattoos casually coordinated, lost in each others’ coed mirror image of themselves, a sudden waft of vapidity following them in.
  21. African-American woman whose well-kept yet indiscreet Afro proudly expresses ethnic autonomy, wearing a large colorful shawl (most likely from Africa or Banana Republic) wrapped multiple times around her neck.
  22. Guy with tortoise shell Ray Bans wearing potentially ironic red Marlboro sweatshirt distractedly answering “uh huh” to presumable girlfriend whose iPhone’s content, perhaps the calendar app, is causing massive confusion for her.
  23. Guy in Grateful Dead t-shirt demonstrating how bad his taste in music is.
  24. Morbid looking woman with 17″ MacBook Pro, probably a graphic designer, no makeup, staring into the rectangular void while gnawing on her cuticles. A cat waits for her on a couch covered in its own hair, next to a remote with which its owner listlessly changed channels last night.
  25. Bald Asian man whose facetious smirk directed at others barely hides his internal self-loathing, typing into WordPress platform for a popular website, the dried brown ring at the bottom of his cup evoking his anus.

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image – Antony Mayfield