Today my boyfriend Mark and I found ourselves engaged in warfare over a door. Doorfare.
Listen. All we wanted to do was go to the Grind Cafe. Have a coffee, do some work on that tasty open wifi network sheltered from the gusty unwelcoming fog of The City.
This could have gone according to plan if it weren’t for some senior citizen bastard and his faggy book club to fucking it all up.
I was having a rough day already. I’d forgotten my keys, couldn’t find someone I needed to talk to and had been hit by a car. I just wanted to take my laptop in out of the elements and get a few peaceful hours of writing done. I met Mark at the Grind after shoveling a shitty taco into my food hole and sat down with my coffee. The door had been propped open and a tenacious draft whistled through the place. I realized just how chilly it was right as I sat down and pulled out my computer. Mark noticed right away.
“Are you cold?”
I nodded and he got up and kicked the doorstop free. The door swung shut and all was well.
Until thirty minutes later when a man got up and opened it again. He was in his fifties with a neatly trimmed beard and slight figure. He wore a green Hawaiian shirt with khakis and his hair was sandy reddish with streaks of grey. He had a plastic mug in one hand and a thick book in the other. The wind wafted back through cafe.
Mark and I looked at each other and made a quiet agreement that we would allow the door to remain open for thirty minutes before getting up to shut it again. After all he was older. He probably was having like, menopause hot flashes or one of those older people things where the environment must be closely controlled for comfort.
So we waited thirty minutes and shut the door again.
Ten minutes later the man stood up from where he sat with two older women also holding large books and opened it.
He walked by us without making eye contact and took his seat, enjoying the cold ass wind that whistled over me and Mark to get to him.
“Oh, fuck you, old dude.” I thought and took a closer look. I came to the conclusion that he was not just a reserved older gent who wanted a breeze while reading his book but didn’t realize the other patrons might be cold when he opened the door.
On closer inspection he was the affluent older man who ate a closely maintained diet of lentils, free range chicken and wheat grass smoothies. He was the guy that harangued you about the virtues of riding a bicycle everywhere, even to Nevada to visit your relatives. He was the guy that talked a bunch of shit about conservation without having the science to back it up and thought his weekly attendance at Bikram yoga made him uniquely able to understand Indian spirituality better than actual Indians. The guy that claims to have a sense of humor as long as it’s about his own shitty jokes and thinks his liberal sensibility’s entitle him to sex with women twenty years his junior.
“Seriously, Fuck you.”
Mark got up and shut the door. The man sat for a few more minutes with the two women and his book (Which I was convinced was Proust or Tolstoy or something equally pretentious that you only read in public to get ass from passing impressionable admirers.) then the son of a bitch got up and opened the door again.
My heart flooded with loathing. He was probably going to tell the broads sitting with him about the hero’s journey of Nikolai Rostov and then espouse the virtues of tantric sex. Oh, god I hated him.
I got up and shut the door. He got up and opened it. Mark and I took a moment to withdraw behind the trenches of our laptops and regroup. To come up with a new strategy. A strategy involving shut doors.
Mark went to refill his coffee at the same time Douchy McBeardstein did. On the way to the counter he shut the door. On the way back from refilling his plastic travel mug (Because to use a paper cup would result in the death of polar bears and destruction of ancestral lands.) the wise book club shaman opened the door.
And wedged the stopper hard into the carpet. He did not make eye contact with us as he returned to his seat, even though we had dropped all pretense and stared bug eyed at him.
“I’m going to punch someone in the face.” Said Mark tapping his portable mouse against the little cafe table.
“Does that someone have a beard?” I asked and got up and shut the door.
Five minutes after the door was open and Marks New England accent had gotten slightly thicker from rage.
“Look lets just go. There are plenty of places with Wifi and less aging hippies.” I said.
“Yeah. Yeah, Ok.”
Mark and I packed up our hardware and scooted to the infuriatingly open door. Mark stepped aside to let me go first but I waved him through, took hold of the handle, kicked the stopper up with a sharp bang and let the door swing shut behind us.
Mark looked at me. “I was thinking about doing that.”
I took his arm and kissed his cheek.
“One heart, one mind in pettiness.”
And then we went to a bar instead.