She’ll have to clean the thick-framed glasses when she gets home. There’s a peculiar blurriness on one lens. How nice it would feel to take them off; her head’s too wide for their slenderness and she doesn’t even have vision problems. Oh well.
She googled local coffee shops to get the name of the place she’s heading to. Sure, its discovery wasn’t spontaneous or street-side. It wasn't so desperately needed because she’s not a travelling accordionist who hasn’t eaten in three days. She's not the vagabond musician who uses such tactics to stay skinny and anemic and poor. [Skinny frappuccinos are pricey. And inadequate sources of dietary iron.] Sigh. But she wants to be. Screw that. She loves her bed. She just wants to appear as. Which is as good as being, right? [Close enough.]
So she cheated finding the coffee shop. Okay. But no one has to know. She just has to make it look nonchalant. She can do that. Maybe it can be her favorite spot, that she’s been to dozens of times and can greet the barista by his first name and talk about politics and the new Himalayan restaurant down the street. [I recommend the aloo matar dish. Whatever that is.] Oh. The employees wear nametags here. Knowing his first name is nothing special. Could they try to be more authentic? It is an urban coffee shop. They should try. Even just in honor of their clientele, who is trying. Really hard.
She wants something indulgent, creamy. But that would mean animal products. She looks around. Better not risk it. She orders a type of tea that she already knows is bitter, unappetizing. Just to be able to say its name out loud.
She brought her laptop. But it hasn’t been taken out yet. She has nothing to type, she hates doing important papers in busy places. Wouldn’t it compromise the quality? Oh, wait. That's part of it. You're not supposed to care. She looks around. It might look odd if she doesn’t pull it out. People may think she's too poor to own a laptop. But she remembers she's trying to look poor. Wasn't that the whole idea? Or something like that? Better take it out. Someone might think she's concerned about the grade she’s getting on the paper. That wouldn’t be good; she’d look stuck-up.
Lackadaisical. Be it, drink it, embody it. She can do that. Until her lower patella aches from the tightness of her skinny cords. Seventy-effing-three-dollars, too. They’re distressed, patterned. It’s some combination of Central Asian traditional prints. [Or maybe Navajo. Obviously not Asian, if so. Who cares.] Well, she naturally cares because they put a dent in her wallet. Sadistically overpriced. But they don’t look that way, right? That’s what is important. So, good. It was a good buy. She looks around once quick time. Inhaling, she reaches to scrunch up her cords, the darn things. Her tea, in its rust-colored mug, spills as she bumps the little table.
She passes Old Navy on her way home and laughs internally at the regular people. The regular people scrambling in for the jeans sale. The regular poorer families, the slightly overweight regular mother wearing a cheap bright orange coat because it was on the sale rack. And old ma couldn’t care less what she looks like. Ha.
And then she realizes that’s all she’s trying to be.