In an effort to get to my german class a bit quicker, i invoked the typical American behavior of, “find and take the shortest distance.” This method had me wandering through various little side streets and alley's to cut a few minutes off the walk. The walk itself is really nice in that it reminds me of a time when the United States used to be so neat and clean. In some ways I am walking back in time a bit to my childhood where people cared more about their environment. Each trip back to the USA, I seem to see more and more people seeming to leave, throw or forget trash, discard gum and cigarette butts wherever they wish.
on finding the quickest route to class, I discovered little place that looked a bit like a wonderful (insert country) café. I was excited, as it was out of the way from the main population and shopping center. In my ignorance, and naivety I thought, “ cool, a group of immigrants got together to have a place where their community could come together! Perhaps I can stop by and have a café when the Shoppe opens!”
I have to interject that i am not sure if it is just my size and looks, or too many years as a doorman taking care of too many inebriated or messed up people, either I look like a cop or have a face that has seen too much of life?
After yesterdays class, walking down the little street, I saw a group of men standing outside where the café . I thought, “cool the place is open, maybe I will stop for a café and see what the place is about?” Around half way down the street, I got my glimpse into the eyes of the men standing around. My heart sank a bit, as I had seen these eyes before in New York, Florida, and Las Vegas. They are the eyes of a group of individuals that could have come out of casting central, yet, were not actors. They have and live a life that brings about the blank stare and no direct eye contact, something a cop in nyc taught me, "if you look people in the eyes, they think you are either a cop or crazy." these men's eyes, were like looking into the dull gray sheen of a shark’s eyes. over time, sedimentation of sorts happens and somehow they congregate together in a school to plan whatever activity is working inside their minds to do the least and gain the most.
what I thought it was simply a café, turns out to be a place I know enough not to walk into. I will not be welcomed. At least in japan, they have a sign that makes the entire message easier to palette. it would translate to, "no gaijin" (no foreigner) on the door, it is out in the open, no need to wonder.
if I walk down the other side of the street, I will be left alone. That is simply the unwritten rule. Sometimes in life, it is better to just keep walking. Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is not the best.
while it was excited to find a nice café to sit and have a moment with sketchbooks and a coffee. who knows, perhaps I am completely wrong and one will ask, “Would you like a coffee?”
Hope springs eternal, even if i know the odds are probably not in the favor that halo's were in abundance outside the cafe.