In this, my favourite cafe – my democratic ground, my home away from home, my ‘third place’ – I am rarely made to feel my age (let’s call it ‘retirement age’). Men and women from 20 to 80 have engaged in meaningful, sometimes passionate, conversations with me. We are generally all open to learning from each other, and I am almost never treated like someone whose delicate ears must be protected from words like ‘fuck’.
Only one individual assumes I am here simply to “keep busy”. He means well, but it irks. I will take him on, one day soon, and he will be embarrassed and apologetic and, for awhile, he will be reminded every time he sees me. But it will pass, as all such events do, and life will move on, as it always does.