i sit at a coffee shop to escape the noise but it is louder here. the coffee is not good. i miss you. i take myself out on a date. i bring my book; ambitiously shovel a large forkful of my too-hot meal into my mouth and then have to spit it out into a napkin. everyone’s eyes on me. tears prick at the back of mine. i drop my chopsticks. where did this clumsiness come from? there is a man sitting by himself too, staring at me behind dark sunglasses. i feel naked. i sink further down into my seat, book straight up to my nose, a constant dreamy barrier between myself and real life. always has been, always will be. i imagine other people watching me. do i look happy? confident? scared? clever? sad? i imagine how another writer, obviously someone deeply in love with me, would describe how i look, sitting here, alone and escaping the world by immersing myself in the midst of it.