I sat on the last free table and watched the traffic pass by. It was not too bad I guess, coming back...again to a part of town that held so many memories. But for some reason, my life here has me coming back from time to time to this part of town that I once knew so well. Nothing seemed to have changed, the old people were still there, the library and cafe beside it exactly as it was eleven years ago. I felt comfortable sitting in the little square and watching people.
I was too early for my appointment. My anxiety either has me showing up too early or too late for appointments. Today I was an hour early. I did not want to wait in the reception room so I went to the little square and sat there reading my book. Two foreigners approached me, one to ask directions to the library and the other to a bank.
I got bored and decided to talk a walk, another woman approached me. She wanted directions to a place where "unemployed immigrant women met to study together". No fucking idea. Her language was faulty. I thought she needed directions for either the unemployment agency or the language school. No. It wasn't a school she was looking for or the unemployment agency, it was some place for women to meet and "study together". After trying for some minutes to figure out what she meant, she looks at me accusingly and says "you don't live around here do you?" What the fuck does that have to do with anything? I say "no, but I used to". She nods her head and looks at me knowingly....as if that explains everything. I could not help her because I did not live around here and therefore did know know this strange place where unemployed foreign women met to study together. The truth was I could not help her because I had no fucking clue what she was talking about. Anyway, it would have been useless to argue so I agreed with her. "Yes" I replied. "You should ask somebody else, I don't know this area". She smiled and nodded in sympathy.
I left her by the roadside and went back to the square. Two old ladies and a dog approached me. One had only a big front tooth sticking out of her gums. "Can we sit here with you?" she asked. "Yes, sure, its free" I replied. "Very sweet of you" she said. Her companion walked to one of the chairs by the table with the dog but did not sit down. The one toothed old lady told the other she was going to get them some coffee. The dog started barking. She told the other woman to hold the dog's "jaws together" and then shuffled off. The companion was unable to do that, she kept trying to appease the old dog by talking nicely to it, the dog went off on a barking spree.
The other old people around were slowly getting irritated. I was quite amused. The old lady kept talking to the dog "she will soon be back" "why are you embarrassing me?" "you are so spoiled" etc etc, it all seemed very familiar, this had happened many times, it was a routine. The old woman looked at me and said "sorry, she is old, thirteen years".
"Well, you better sit down, I think". I said.
I was more concerned about the woman's bad posture than the dog's barking. She had not sat down since they arrived and was half way bent, trying to soothe the barking dog. It looked like a very uncomfortable position to be in. The couple nearest to us looked at her in irritation and buggered off to another bench far away. Another old woman went off with disgust. The dog kept barking.
The one toothed old lady came back with their coffee "Why did you not shut her jaws?" she asked clearly irritated, she used her walking stick and began to roughly prod the dog "shut up" she said to the dog. The dog barked back and back and forth it began, the one toothed old lady began a quarrel with the dog, the other woman interjecting in from time to time, "stop it, you are not helping matters". The three of them seemed oblivious to their surroundings, they were lost in whatever psycho drama this was. More people left the surrounding tables. I looked on in amusement.
Unfortunately, it was time to leave. As I began to pack up my stuff, one tooth says "oh you don't have to go, you are not in the way".
"I have to go anyway, not leaving because of you guys, I have an appointment to keep. Have a good day ladies" I said.
As I left, I thought of what one tooth said "you are not in the way"...ha ha ha ha...for Christ's sake, they were in my way!!! I was sitting alone there before they came along with their psycho drama. "Not in the way" indeed!!! ha ha ha funny people.