My ears perk up at the sound of an American accent. I look over to discover six guys around the table, all American. I chuckle at the sight: They're all dressed in shirts and ties, each one a different vibrant color. From deep purple to bright burgundy to coral blue.
Between friendly banter and easy laughter, each one hovers over a newspaper, magazine, sudoku game, or cell phone.
Together. Yet separate.
I enjoy that very same thing at times. I love being altogether separate; with someone, but not necessarily doing something with them. Enjoying nothingness, individualness, in the company of someone I feel completely comfortable with.
The eclectic group of rainbow-colored shirts has grown quieter. Burgundy Shirt is talking, and has captured their collective attention. I wonder what story he is telling. The web he's weaving has them all fully engaged.
The laughter is flowing faster. It's getting louder. And louder. Deep Purple is now dominating the conversation. Apparently, he's hilarious. Uproarious laughter erupts from the table and oozes over to mine. Even though I don't know what's so funny, their laughter is enough to make a smile cross my face.
I just heard the first intelligible sentence in quite a while: "Well, I was born 3 days before the Challenger exploded." I remember watching that event unfold from the security of my tiny desk and chair in elementary school. And Burgundy Shirt was crying in swaddling clothes at the time. His collared shirt, rolled-up sleeves, and bold tie certainly made him seem older than that. But now I see it. His youth.
These young corporates have spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to split their bill. They've now resigned themselves to asking the waitress to print individual checks. I can't help but laugh.
Why this whole scene compelled me to write is beyond me. The random unfolding before me of colorful sights and sounds seemed to captivate my mind. My pen.
Okay. I thought they had actually tackled this bill-paying quandary. But they're still surrounding the waitress at the check-out, trying to make sense of it. Their ineptness at this simple task -- in spite of ostentatious shirts, Windsor-knotted ties, and pointy black shoes -- is hard not to notice.
Aaah! They've got it.
The rainbow has left the building.