I’m on my two hour lunch break in a bar called John Turkey Sports Tavern, where no one is drinking beer and everyone is drinking coffee. Cafe con leche, to be exact, the national drink of Spain. I usually assess the people around me to keep my brain busy, but I find the three woman sitting at the wooden table to my left, particularly fascinating. Two of them are wearing wetsuits and we are not exactly on the sea. The women are speaking in Gallego, a regional dialect I only understand a handful of words of, and so their conversation only reveals part of itself to me.

“Presents, presents, he got a present!”, says the one in a full-on, blue and yellow wetsuit. She grabs a greasy churro and dunks it in her coffee.

Her friend, with a stern expression, a slicked back ponytail, and only half a wetsuit on over her jeans, sighs and says “It’s difficult.”

“In the head, in your house, it’s the same,” says their curly haired friend, who is picking at the bottom of her jeans, making sure they go over her massive heels.

“What? Seriously?”, says Stern Face to Curly.

“Look, the same words. They are very…all in the back. Yes, yes, yes.”

“The co-workers of my grandma,” offers up Full Wetsuit.

Stern Face flutters her hand in disagreement.

“Elevator. Like this? Ay? Like this?”


“A park. It is normal.”

They absent-mindly pour their sugars into their coffees, as they keep their focus on the conversation. The churros are all gone.

“The pink girls. Jessica too. I want to understand,” says Full Wetsuit, as she taps her foot along to the Billy Joel that is playing loudly.

“Grandma is coming.”

Stern Face says, “Of course, because yes, the children know” and this seems to signal that the subject is done with.

The coffees are slammed down and they abruptly leave in a flurry of conversation. Their soft water-shoes squish as they exit. Curly Hair stays behind to talk to the bartender under the hanging surfboards and vintage golf posters.

I finish my coffee and go back to work.


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