Yes, I'm drinking coffee and writing. No, I'm not staring at you, I'm just gazing off into space as I work.
So, I realize most people don't sit in coffee shops for 4 hours at a time like I do. Their bathroom breaks probably don't smell like an empty coffee mug either. Ah, the perils of the industry. Not the point.
People come in, sit in front of the bar, and do...I don't know. Something. Their empty tables encourage me to wonder why they stayed. Sometimes they pull out a (still very trendy as long as you're in a coffee shop,) ipad, and maybe do some work (aka, look at hilarious cats.)
Maybe I just choose the wrong seat, or maybe I should work on staring at a blank wall, but generally, these people occupy the table directly in my "stare at nothing" sight-line. You know the one. The direction I stare when looking out the window at the people who walk by, seeing each one struggle with the difficult choice of taco bell vs arbys. (I'm not judgmental or anything...) My general "wrestling with life and trying to come up with a better verb for climb"-looking direction.
But, after a while, the people at these tables seem to notice that my gaze often seems to fall upon them. Or maybe not. To me it seems they notice. Then, heads are combined in hushed discussion. (I can't actually tell, I have headphones on.) Papers are shuffled.
Shortly after, with furtive glances at me, or perhaps I occupy their general "gaze out the window" direction, they gather their things. Like Eddie Izzard miming a worried store owner, all agape and speechless.
Maybe they only had twenty minutes for lolcats. Maybe I've just spooked some middle aged soccer moms, what with my terrifying demeanor.
I am, after all, a man, in public. Males are terrifying. Why, a male might try anything. Like, talking to you! Even without ulterior motives, maybe he's just being polite, you'll be frozen in place, unsure what to say to "Is this your phone?" As he hands you the missing article (dangerously recovered from the ground, where you deliberately dropped it while coming out of the restroom,) of cat and children photos and regular texting-while-driving. Then what will you do?
Run. There are no other solutions.
Maybe I'm not that guy. Maybe I'm watching criminals plan bank robberies and they don't like my vague, unfocused attention.
I seem to have written myself into a corner here.