I often go and do a bit of writing in my favourite cafe. I don’t actually get much work done because there are too many distractions, but I feel that proper writers write in cafes sometime so I do it anyway. I go quite early in the morning, and one day a man came in and, in an otherwise empty cafe, sat at the table right next to me. This made me feel very uncomfortable because: a) People who do that are usually nutters who want to talk to you about how they are a close personal friend of Elvis, and b) I am a grumpy old man with major personal space issues and tend to glower at anyone who appears to be homing in on my little area. It looks as if I may need to hone my glowering technique.
On subsequent occasions I realised why the man did what he did. He must sit in the corner seat – and I was in it so he sat in the next best one. I’ve now observed his tactics. If the cafe is very busy he takes a seat as close as possible to ‘his’ corner one. Each time someone a bit closer to it leaves, he ups sticks and takes their place until, like a chess piece being moved around the board he finally ends up in the treasured corner spot. I’ve seen him move three times within a few minutes in order to achieve his goal.
I have a strange desire to take up station in the corner seat as soon as the cafe opens and stay there all day, pretending to get up and leave every now and then only to change my mind as soon as he eagerly gets up and prepares to move in. My theory is that this might lead to him having a complete mental breakdown and keep him away from the place for many months, thus leaving me in peace.
Watch this space.