Why we do this to ourselves

“Like, are you sitting at the same table?” The barista asked, uninterested in the reply.

She glanced behind her, pretending to survey the queue for the first time, even acting surprised when the guy behind her smiled back at her. He smiled back, completely onboard with the moment.

Fireworks set off in her head, as she came to terms with the life-changing and delightful future being served to her on a handsome silver platter.

“Hell yes,” said her eyes.

“It’s like a movie,” said her thoughts.

“Um…uh, no,” said her mouth. “We’re not.”

“Not again,” said the universe.

The trouble with being human

“Well, I didn’t want to give the wrong impression, right? He might have taken it the wrong way.”

I sipped my coffee and leaned back in the chair, as my friend flicked through her photos from a job the night before. 

“Maybe he had somewhere to be?” She continued, “or was meeting a friend, you know? I didn’t want it to be awkward.”

“Fair enough”, I replied.

“Don’t lie, you’ve done it before too.”

“I know,” I said. “Many times.”

“I’m so alone. I’m going to be alone forever. I’ve been saying it for years. Why can’t life just be easier, you know?”

“Yep”, I said, noticing the sun shining in through the window and lighting up the glass on the table.

She carried on flicking, making the occasional ugly face at one of her snaps. I’ve heard this story many times, but it always intrigues me to hear it again. Not because of the misfortune, just the fact that it was always the same. It was a pattern, just like the ones we all have but fail to self-diagnose and change. 

After another few minutes, my friend stopped for a moment and picked up her mug, making a big huffing noise when finding it empty. She suddenly swung her whole body over to face mine, the way she does when an insight is coming.

“Wouldn’t it be great if it was in your control?” I asked.

“I know, hey.”

“All of those thoughts that are yours.”


“In your own head.”

“Yeah. Anyway, you want another coffee? There’s this hot guy in the line with a camera.”