Then and now: Sidewalk café

In the olden days, I would sometimes sit alone at a sidewalk café. I enjoyed sitting, resting, relaxing… I enjoyed dreaming, watching people or simply staring into space…

But I felt self-conscious. I thought people noticed me and wondered about this weird man, sitting all alone. So I’d usually have an open book in front of me and pretend to be reading.

Then came the cell-phones. Nobody was ever alone any more, nobody was ever quiet any more.

I dispensed with my books. I’d sit at the cafés with a phone and pretend… Sometimes I’d pretend to be talking on the phone, sometimes I’d pretend to be listening. I was no longer a weird loner…

Then came smart phones… and laptop computers. The café table became a communications center. People check the news, handle their correspondence, have conference calls on Skype and generally run their office while sitting alone at their table. All they need is a plug to charge the batteries.

And if several people are sitting at the same table, this table simply hosts several communications centers…

And I…

I miss sitting alone at a sidewalk café… dreaming, watching people or simply staring into space…

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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