Cognitive Dissonance

Sipping green tea lemonade on a passionately hot day–expected to hit 100°F. About now I wish I were packing for San Francisco and the blurry fogged chill of its summers.  Needing both a sweater and a jacket would feel fabulous right now.  Although the temperature here in the Wildwood Starbuck’s is getting close.

“The Girl from Ipanema” just floated onto the sound system–a song that captures the essence of summer. Starbuck’s has redecorated: out with the sticky blond wood, in with the chic, dark round tables, a wall of mirrors above stools. It’s better. More places to sit, but still not cozy like the Grove on Fillmore Street in SF. Looking around I see mostly plugged-in people, a Dell, a Lenovo, three Macs, and a Kindle. One couple actually talk, oddly in this computer-driven place, about tarot cards–an older technology of a sort, and not a very effective one, as T.S. Eliot’s Madame Sosostris would indicate.  All the while, the Girl from Ipanema, who walks “like a samba,” blithely passes by.

One of the Macs leaves, and the Dell packs up and moves to the now vacant seat by the window. Nice to sit by the light without feeling the  heat.  A gentleman sits down at the table next to me.  He wears shorts and a red t-shirt, sweat-stained on the back, as though he has been jogging.  He pulls out a full Mozart orchestral score.  An urgent rap song has started thrumming through the sound system.  Meanwhile, the man begins to air conduct animatedly, con brio, the score in front of him.  The rappers admonish us with their menace; the man unravels a silent Mozart into the ether. Their beat booms as his fingers thump the score emphatically. Cognitive dissonance in the summertime.

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