Cell phone conversation

There’s a new used book store in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Raven Used Books, on the basement level two doors down from Shay’s Wine Bar on JFK. I was standing looking at the history books when a man stopped in front of the store to talk on his cell phone. I could hear him very clearly even though he was all the way up the stairs on the sidewalk.

[Something about plans for the evening…]


[in a louder voice] Dad, you don’t have to pick me up after work. I can…

Long pause.

[in a definitely loud voice] I’m telling you right now, I don’t want to go out for dinner.


[in softer voice] I don’t want to go out to dinner. I just wanna go home and unpack my s— and just sit there and relax.

He was still talking when I left the bookstore some five minutes later. I had expected a college student, but he was in his late thirties, curly brown hair touched with gray, blue flannel shirt and purple baseball cap, still trying to make plans for the evening.