Soft jazz unwinds overhead in meandering strides, evoking images of the final hours of a wedding reception—discarded bouffant cake on plates and final drunken revelers stumbling about a hotel ballroom. But this is not that place.
It is instead a brightly lit coffee shop with sober patrons about their business. A college boy in basketball shorts, a t-shirt and sandals, lightly perches at a table with printed handouts and unopened textbooks. He highlights judiciously, with his car keys a mere inch from his fingers.
Next to him, a businesswoman does the same. highlighting her own pages, with much more care and and discretion. Her manicured fingers pop in an out of a coach briefcase where her notes are all neatly arranged in folders and files, and a clunky sterling bracelet jungles with every movement.
Behind the counter, the baristas bustle, talking on headsets, clanging ice, and a blender whirrs, and then a shaker. Then someone tells a joke, and the comic relief lasts for but a second, before they are moving again…forever to make a buck.