“Damn, what is bes ________?”

Micha Lewis
3 min readFeb 4, 2020


This is part two to the blog post White Noise Costs $2.75


Photo by Colin Lee on Unsplash

Encounter 4

Here goes nothin’… 2:30pm on the dot. Sunday, Feb 2nd 2020. Everyone is pretty much working to themselves. The only ones I can really hear are the baristas. It seems coffee shops have progressed to be more of a “focus and work on your own” place to get away from distractions in a new environment. 🤔

Hearing something about “should… family.” “I was like…” “Maybe I should have…”

The music and the white noise of the bar is great at masking sound.

“Hi how are you” (barista)

Some people speaking over by the couches. Older man ~ 65. Typical “ethnic” white grandpa look. Russian? Polish. Looks relaxed

Okay nevermind. Actually a ~45–50 year old, cool, perhaps a biker in the past, long gray low ponytail. My quick glance + peripherals combo just failed me a bit.

2:39pm just turned 2:40pm and I moved closer to the window to hear.

I can hear better but the bar is louder too. Everything got louder but I can’t necessarily distinguish any of the noise amongst the rest.

Little girl: “Wait, what do I say?”

Dad: “May I please get another one.”

Little girl: “ Pab it’s not workinnng.”

Back to biker guy with the gray ponytail: “I know, I know [speaking a different language? Russian].” “Oh yeeeaahhhh… Oh yeeeeaahhh.”

Remember that long anticipated volleyball or tennis match I mentioned earlier? Well this is where the rally begins

Woman: Can we have a real conversation?

Man: A real conversation doesn’t involve you saying [….]

Woman: If you’re willing to be open and transparent […]

Man: I asked you two things. […] not gonna want that […].

Woman: When did I do that??

Man: One day you’re gonna be with somebody that ________ right??

(Woman description: High ponytail with brown hair, slight Long Island accent, flustered voice, speaking in a fast and aggressive tone, late 20s- mid 30s, white

Man description: Late 20s to mid 30s, average height, dark hair, white, indifferent tone, accusational

For some reason I’m getting a vibe that both of them aren’t in to the health conscious lifestyle)

(Is this a breakup conversation? There’s some sort of relationship turbulence)

Woman: Would it have been a big deal if you woke up a little bit earlier and came downstairs??

Man: I work every day […]. This is why we can’t have […].

(This entire conversation is taking place standing by the trash can. They might be waiting for their order(s).)

(They are reminiscent of those couples that are together because they’re both toxic and are somehow “okay” with the “thrill.”)

Woman: (almost yelling) WELL, well you know what!?

Did I say that?? Did I say that?? (quick and abrupt tone, fed up)

2:52pm. 8 minutes to go.

(Meanwhile calm, wintry, slow, old style music plays in the background)

Woman: What’s bes ________!? What’s bes ________!? What’s bes ________!? What’s bes ________!? Just explain to me what bes ________. (Aggressively asking the same question- demanding, quick tone. Definitely wants an answer.)

Me to myself: Damn, what is bes ________?

Barista: “For John!?”

(Background music gets more cheery and upbeat)

“Have a good day?”

“You too!” (random male voices)

Gray ponytail main from earlier: Yeah?? [something in Russian]

Woman he’s talking to: “Ohhhh”

Male barista: Have a good one!

(Music plays peacefully, jazzy, smooth, warm)

3:00pm. Fin.

As I was leaving it appeared that the arguing couple had found a seat by the other window

Woman: Nooo! It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter

Have you ever tried to overhear someone’s conversation? Sounds way easier than it is, I discovered. I’m tired.



Micha Lewis

Learning the art of storytelling, probably breaking all of the rules