Fat Man At My Table

I’m in Starbucks at my usual table when a very large man sits in the chair across from me.

“Excuse me,” I say, “but why are you here?” properly startled.

He says, “It’s community seating, so I can sit where I want.”

Now the room, being 5:30 a.m. is pretty much empty, so to say his chutzpah is in overdrive is an understatement.  My heart pounds having my space so abruptly invaded knowing, if I’m not careful, I’m going to go off like a cherry bomb.

“I don’t mean to be rude but, could you please move? I’d really appreciate it.”

He mulls this over like it’s a Jeopardy question then says, “What’s it like bein so skinny? I’ve been big my whole life.”

Next thing I know I’m having a conversation about obesity and fat grams.  Despite having my peace stolen right from under me, my heart opens for this very large man who finally, after thanking me for my views on Half and Half, leaves.

Does this sort of thing ever happen at your Starbucks?

I’m guessing not.

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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27 Responses to Fat Man At My Table

  1. Ok, let me go pick up my heart. One thing I would say is that judgement does not discriminate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. micklively says:

    I seem to recall someone once asking me why I was so skinny but it’s a very distant memory. I live in hope. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, it’s all in your perspective. As a 5’6″ scrawny girl that never topped 95 even while fully dressed, I envied the overweight. Why? Because I figured all they had to do was exercise and stop eating; two things I could easily do. And I’m sure they looked at me and thought all I had to do is start eating more. The grass is always greener on the other side.
    Now that I want to lose a few pounds I wish it was as easy to do as I once thought it would be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think you would envied him. He was the size of a small building, which is why my heart opened. Can’t imagine what it must be like getting around. And I think it was a genetic thing. sigh

      Like

  4. E says:

    There is a fine, invisible line between my approachability as a clinician and the codependence from which I’ve spent years recovering. Strangers still feel they can say a lot of things to me. Like you I suppose I ride the wave with compassion while still looking for my boundaries.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No that doesn’t happen at my Starbucks. Mostly I got through the SB but I rarely eat or drink inside. The tables are small except for a long community table so people just clutter their stuff to show ownership. Maybe he was hitting on you. At that time of day it’s hard to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joanneolson says:

    Likewise, “my” space at “my” Starbucks today was invaded this morning by a man in great need of a bath. I was quite irritated until a woman in line for coffee engaged him in conversation and offered to buy him coffee and a bagel (with both butter and jelly he insisted). I was totally chastened by her generosity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love the word chastened. She probably had sinus issues and couldn’t detect his hygiene lapse. I believe the term is ripe. I’m always humbled by someone like that. I counted the number of brothers can you spare me a dime, en route to the train. It’s right out of Steinbeck. Thanks for writing.

      Like

  7. I go to a stand-up Starbucks in the supermarket. There is certainly no peace to steal there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gail Kaufman says:

    Interesting story. Here’s my take on it: Rather than chutzpah, it sounds like he has courage. He was reaching out, and asking that question may have been something he wanted to do for a long time. He probably saw you and felt this was his chance. He got lucky, or maybe he is just perceptive. If he had approached someone without your compassion, it could have been a traumatic experience for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Hodgson says:

    Your first reaction would have been my initial reaction too…I guess ‘maybe’ he just wanted conversation. We get so suspicious and with good reason but sometimes it gets in the way of being human…!?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t frequent Star Bucks as $5-7 for a cup of coffee is not my idea of anything good. Especially when, in the evening, I can’t even get Decaf, I have to order some sort of Expresso mess that is, basically, Decaf coffee (and doesn’t taste good).
    But to enlarge your question – yes, this does happen when I eat at Cracker Barrel. I have friends who also eat there; I have staff and waitresses who are friends. I talk to these whenever I am there. I also do not shy away should anyone ask a question of me, ask to sit with me, or ask a question of someone else and I know the answer and they are stumped.
    I find it fun for all, usually – of course, this is Indiana, not NYC. Much smaller and your space is not quite as important. I understand that.
    Scott

    Like

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