A Little Ride, a Little Coffee, a Little Eavesdropping

A Little Ride, a Little Coffee, a Little Eavesdropping

On Saturday morning, I nipped out to one of my favorite stops for breakfast – the Cutchogue Diner.

I like to sit at the counter when there is space available. You get to listen to snippets of the lives around you and don’t have to bother with polite eye contact. People are more free with their words when they don’t think anyone is listening. Eye contact gives the game away and removes some of that anonymity.

Most people wouldn’t openly tell a stranger about their troubling family situations, love lives or talk about money. But in their comfort-bubble while staring in to a familiar face across the table, they forget everyone else can hear what they’re saying. Especially in a small diner car.

Now, I know what you’re going to say – eavesdropping is rude. And your probably right. But I can’t seem to shut my ears off. The songs of other peoples lives just seem to find their way in. When I’m sitting alone at the counter with my back to the rest of the diner, I don’t get to see who is saying what. And it really doesn’t matter. It’s all just curious notes from an anonymous symphony going on around me.

 

6 Replies to “A Little Ride, a Little Coffee, a Little Eavesdropping”

  1. Eavesdropping is great sport. Especially for writers and other artists. Those stories fuel a lot of creative endeavors. Being married to a fiction writer, I can attest to the subtle arts I learned from her regarding eavesdropping and learning how to write dialogue. Until I met her I never paid much attention.

    Diner counters are the best. You’re description of the anonymity is spot on.

    That diner is way out on Long Island. Last time I was near there was in a sailboat passing between Montauk and Block Island on the way to Provincetown…

  2. I also find people’s lives fascinating. Nothing wrong with listening to stuff said in public. I visited Cutchogue two weeks ago for business and wondered about this cute diner. Next time I’ll step inside.

  3. Such eavesdropping is delicious, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of—we all do it. It’s part of being human, part of the sport of this absurd experience…

    For several years in the mid- to late-nineties, right after I graduated from high school, Bill and Nada’s Cafe (already 50 years old at that time) was a regular, wee hours hangout for me. I’d usually sit at the counter, with a book, a notebook, and cup after cup after cup of coffee. That place provided a hell of an education for me at that formative time in my young life.

    Bill and Nada’s is long gone…

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