Perceptions, South Austin style

Subtitle: it could only happen here.

I had an afternoon appointment at a coffee shop. Had to meet a client and give that person the low down on the down low in her astrology chart. I got there a little early so I could scarf up some delicious grub, and grab an iced coffee. Cold and dark, strong, bitter. So refreshing on hot summer afternoon.

So far, this isn’t remarkable at all. Just another client consulting with me about future trends.

Client calls, running late, and I’m reading the newspaper and pushing peppers and fresh basil around on the plate, moping it all up with wheat toast. In one corner, a young woman, pierced, probably tattoos, wearing black on black with (it’s a guess) no bra, and she’s quilting. Next to her, a fetching young man – in the beatnik way – is alongside, and with that couple, their shoulders almost touching, needle and thread, he’s quilting, too.

I wasn’t going to mention it, or save the image for a horoscope, but then my client shows up. There’s a cooing and gentle squealing women of a certain age and disposition make, and my client greets the kid making the quilt, the young lady, and they embrace, exchange pleasantries, and then we get about out business. Which isn’t remarkable, as there’s nothing abnormal about seeing someone you know, or reading an astrology chart and paying attention to Saturn, Neptune, and so forth.

The girl and the guy working on the quilt exchange a few words, and that drew my attention in their direction, and over a vegetarian taco, I asked how they know each other.

“Her mom is in my coven.”

Then it’s back to the chart, and what struck me as so odd is that it wasn’t odd. At all. Nary so much as a lifted eyebrow.

As I was wrapping up, as I can be long-winded, we exchange good wishes and money, and then a well-known cross-dressing homeless guy wanders in. He’s wearing a very short black miniskirt, a tiny (stuffed) tube top, and he’s sporting a lot of gray in his beard. Since I understand he hangs out there a lot, and hangs out of his outfit, this isn’t odd.

Out on the street, I was headed home, and the client asks for a hug, so I go to hug her, then this homeless guy wanders up again. I can’t help but smile.

“Hey, you got a joint?”

Sorry, I don’t have one. Matter of fact, I doubt I’ll ever have one. I’m not opposed to it, not for other folks, but the world I live in? It’s odd enough without any herbal help.

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