Café Mushroom

They sit in the supermarket café, the old ones.

In the window seat with its vista over tangled dripping trolley wire and a queue of mechanically escaping traffic.

The rain does not reach the window, protected by a refuge of 70s orange brick; a dry haven.

They sit in matching raincoats faded grey, each slowly consuming the now-cold budget fare, reducing it to streaks of liquid stain and crumbs and fragments; dull knives scraping porcelain.

Not a word is spoken. There is no need within the stale funk of familiarity that covers them like a damp mushroom.

Around them, other mushrooms have sprouted within the forest of wipe-clean tables and laminated chairs, limply hung with hastily-printed notices and menus in plastic sleeves.

A fungal network that is ever-ready, perpetual, a cushiony mass.

Nothing brightens it, least of all the latest spate of saccharin signage proclaiming the imminence of bliss, its scourge of purple and yellow and smiles contaminating the mutually acceptable stupor.

A chair is pushed back and screeches on the floor like a dying animal.

Nothing awakens.

Written by Emma611.

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