People Watching in the Rain

It’s my guilty pleasure and one that goes great with a huge cup of coffee.

When it rains I love nothing more than being in a warm coffee shop with a blistering hot cup in hand and a look of absolute smugness as I watch people dash from A to B with newspaper hats and unfurling umbrellas.

You imagine their lives and the thoughts flooding their head as the rain floods their shoes. As I am sat in a London coffee shop I can guess that most of their thoughts include, “Get out my way I am far more important than you”. Nonetheless, I thought I would share with you all a bit of prose to describe the truest of guilty pleasures; people watching.

People Watching

I watch as the rain creates a distorted view outside, life altered while the heavens are open. Roads turn to rivers, people turn to snails leaving trails of water as the trudge through my -now filling- coffee shop and smiling people collecting money groan under the weight of their buckets filling with water instead of funds.

My bitter coffee slides effortlessly down my throat as a sprinting commuter slides on a greased paving slap, pulling off a perfect dismount from his self-respect. I smile wryly while the heat of my cup starts to penetrate my gloves, the warmth clearly preparing me for the heat of hell for this oh so guilty pleasure.

The legions of black suits and grey faces, bustle past one another regarding the weather with nonchalant distain. Eyes down they wade through their colleagues, a power-walking competition played out at every tube station. Black cab doors fly open as people flee the deluge and mark the cost down as a necessary expense.

But there are some, the unsuited civilians, who caffeinate my imagination better then the coffee flowing through my bloodstream could ever do. 

A couple pass hands clasp tightly, white knuckled, perhaps she is holding on for fear of letting go or, more likely, for the simple enjoyment of hurting the one she loves.

Two strangers share a lighter as they cower from the storm under a shop’s awning. A short sentence and a nod and they become strangers again, stood together.

A soaked man bimbles past. He walks with a swagger and a smile, all the while his clothes are becoming more water than material. Is he happy or crazy? It’s a fine line…

The rain has eased and my coffee drained. I gather my things and become a character in someone else’s window gazing. I wonder what they might think of me as my umbrella turns inside out.

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32 thoughts on “People Watching in the Rain

  1. Larry_55 says:

    You are so talented. You have made your work so subtle, the two short poems you have written, divided by the italics are the exact same length. GENIUS. I hope this gets freshly pressed as its bloody funny and thought prekoking. I’m going to head to my starbucks tomorrow if it rains but considering I’m from NY it will be more likely me SNOW! Fantastic work dude please post more of these in 2013

    • James Dunn says:

      wow thank you! I wasn’t sure if that would come across with all the different sizes of browser, tablets, etc. You should go people watching in the snow that would be even more brilliant, let me know how it goes

  2. searchingtheshelves says:

    A beautiful merging of funny atmospheric – I almost feel like I’m there watching the world dashing by. Rain has a great way of changing the pace of everything, especially when you can sit back and watch it. Great post!

  3. jimmorrisondreamdiaries says:

    Thanks for liking my post. I’m really an older(ancient) but young at heart Songwriter who ‘opted out’ of the big-time in 1984 in London to do it ‘my way’ which was then Alternative Medicine, but ended up four years ago writing about various Dreams of mine and others related to Jim’s positive influences(wherever he is) simply because I didn’t wish Alex Jones to write my stories as he didn’t know me from Adam. You are great thinker. I too often wonder what people are thinking when I’m on a bus knowing exactly where I’m going. I think to myself ‘there may be someone on this bus who doesn’t know where they are going next’. And the older I get the slower I’m deliberately becoming which helps one to know themself. I do it in coffee shops too. Good Health and Happiness for next year onwards as we are all still here! ‘THINK IT’ and you will make it happen at some stage..

  4. 2e0mca says:

    I love photographing the bustling city on dull a wet day – the reflections somehow give an extra dimension to the life flowing around. Love the image and the tale from the Coffee Shop window 🙂

  5. dmgartphoto says:

    I like the last paragraph a lot. Makes me realize we are all someone else’s view, part of someone else’s life content.
    “The rain has eased and my coffee drained. I gather my things and become a character in someone else’s window gazing. I wonder what they might think of me as my umbrella turns inside out.”

  6. ramaink says:

    Wonderful! The last three paras are especially brilliant!
    Also, driving past houses at dusk when they seem to come alive with lights that pour through the windows…imagining all the little rituals that are precious and unique to each particular family…

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