It’s unnerving to have someone who lives on the surface sit at a table next to you in a place like Starbucks. These people engage others around them with the first thought that comes into their heads. They have boundary issues.
She was a middle aged lady, blue coat and matching blue backpack. She sat down at the next table and searched me with something just this side of a stare. It didn’t matter that I tried poker-facing a non-acknowledgment.
She asked, "So, is it a good morning?" "You off to work?" She had a strong voice that carried above Dianna Ross. I sputtered through my raised coffee, "Ah, yes, just a coffee before I go."
"The coffee is good," she said, inhaling a thin stream from her lidless paper cup.
Then, adjusting her black wool cap, leaving her pack at the table, she stepped outside, leaned against a window, lit a cigarette and took three drags. And just like that stepped back inside.
A man in a black business suit had settled into a chair. He was across the aisle. The lady said, "You look nice, all dressed up. What do you do for a living?" The man, struggling to recover, gazed past the lady and mumbled inaudibly.
Another man with a laptop walked by furtively scanning for power outlets. The lady noticed and enthusiastically offered her spot. He declined saying he could manage.
And so it went…her curiosity and enthusiasm breathing down our necks, her presence writ large, projected above our walls, her simple energy ravaging our layers forcing us to redraw our lines until she finished her coffee and left.
We all breathed a little easier and got to mending our fences.
She has boundary issues.