So I was in Greenfield the other day. While enjoying my morning coffee, I am writing in my journal, as I am wont to do. Sitting at a 4 seat table with my journal open, and pen in hand, the ink is penetrating and covering the page. Some guy approaches with a salad and asks me if I wouldn’t mind him sitting at the table with me.

“Are you waiting for someone?” He asks. “There is room upstairs. I could go upstairs if you would prefer.”

“Yeah,” I said, flustered. “I will only be here a few more minutes”.

Then he sits down.

I am dumbfounded. I cannot believe this guy just took it upon himself to sit down next to me when – as he acknowledged – there were other tables available. I was wondering if my haughty Americanism was getting the better of me, and if it was I who was being disdainful towards him for not welcoming his presence at the table directly adjacent to my writing forum… but I don’t think so.

I was immersed in what could be the most intimate act anyone can legally perform in public.

I should have said: “Sure you can sit here, but I just noticed something: I think you have some food stuck in your upper molars. Do you mind if I get it out with my fingernail before you eat?”

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