The Grand was having his morning nap. The Son was working away in another room and not to be disturbed. The DiL got out her laptop and was busy. I decided to take myself off for a walk.
I thought I’d go for a mooch, have a look at the house I lived in when I was a student. It was not how I remember it. I’d take that walk across the common that I used to do. It had changed. Not even the old laundrette where we sat for hours listening to the sound of our clothes on an endless spin cycle, was the same.
It began to rain so I went in search of a café I once frequented. It was there but not the same. At the counter I asked the server if he could bring the tea and the muffin to the table. He said he could. I paid with my card and missed. He gently took my hand and guided it to the point of the card reader bleeping and then let go. “I’ll bring it over,” he said. If you do a 180 degree turn there’s an empty table about two meters behind you.”
“Thanks, that’s great.”
As I put my card away I noticed a large sign on the counter. “experienced Barrister wanted. Apply within.” What did a coffee shop want with a Barrister?
At the table I picked at the muffin and played with the tea bag, moving it around in the cup. If this cafe had cause to revert to the law, this was a funny way of going about finding legal counsel. If it were me, I’d google it, or ask Siri to find me solicitors within a mile of here. Advertising seemed an unorthodox way of going about it.
“Is everything alright?” the server asked.
“Oh fine, lovely. Thank you.”
“It’s just that you look worried.”
Now I could have taken the opportunity to ask why the café were advertising for a Barrister, but I didn’t. I finished my muffin and sipped at my tea. I had to spin it out because I could hear that the rain was still coming down outside. So there I sat, perpetually checking my phone and wondering how desperate the café’s legal conundrum was.
The phone rang. I saw a long since contacted name pop up “How lovely to hear from you, how are you?”
“The same as I was when I spoke to you earlier.” Without the benefit of detail, I’d guessed wrong.
“I thought you were someone else.” We chatted and then I reverted to my now cold tea. Outside, it was still raining.
Time moved on and there was no putting it off. I would have to brave the weather. “Let me get the door for you,” the server said.
“I’ve been putting it off because of the rain,” I explained.
” It’s not raining any more. It’s the background sounds we play. You’re not the first person to notice that. It’s not raining outside any more.”
As I walked down the road it occurred to me that they weren’t looking for a Barrister but a Barista; someone to make the coffee, from the Italian for bartender.
In my world, a Barrister is more expected than a Barista. That is how I made sense of a sign I could not clearly read. When the phone rang I saw Julia not Julie. Small visual mistakes can make the world of difference to how you see the world.
You would think I would have learnt, by now, that if something seems unlikely then it probably is. Hope continues to triumphs over experience.