Man and Coffee

A man carries a serious-looking tripod and a heavy camera bag into a cafe. He orders a tiny cup of dense coffee, walks over to a table, and centers the cup and saucer on the table. Now he mounts the camera on the tripod and spends five minutes photographing the coffee from across the table. He takes several shots, makes subtle changes to the camera settings and winding superflous knobs on the tripod. When he’s finished experimenting, he lays the tripod down on its side next to him and packs the camera away.

Now it’s just him and the coffee. He lifts the cup out of the saucer, cradling it in both hands to put off disturbing the coffee’s surface for as long as possible. He takes one sip and lowers the glass back into the saucer. He produces a news weekly from somewhere, lays it down between him and the coffee, and pours through its pages.

He’s finished with the coffee and the news within ten minutes. He gathers his things, and walks toward the exit — bussing his table on the way out. He reaches the dorr, turns around immediately, and returns to the table to retrieve his tripod.

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