I got to Junction Bakery in Del Ray and was thrilled to find a seat at the bar. The place is often crowded because it’s adorable, instagrammable, and the food is delicious. I ordered my caprese toast and latte and sat down to read (for no more than 45 minutes as per the store policy, of course).
No sooner had I opened my book than a couple sat down next to me. I tried hard to focus on only Bryan Stevenson’s words and the square foot of bar space in front of me, but I couldn’t help it. I knew there was a break-up happening less than a foot from where I was supposed to be enjoying a peaceful solo brunch. Junction was clearly the neutral territory they had chosen for a hard talk, and fate placed me in the involuntary eavesdropping zone.
Should I have moved? Well, I would have, but the restaurant was pretty darn crowded at brunch time on a Saturday, and frankly, I was there first. Was it rude to overhear pieces of what sounded like a very dramatic and rocky relationship being post-mortemed? I couldn’t help picking up some details. I read the same paragraph of Just Mercy over and over again, trying to block them out, but also subtly choosing a side in the breakup. I became invested, and despite my best efforts to ignore the conversation, I decided who was truly at fault and began to silently root for the other party.
After a few minutes, I decided to finish my food quickly and leave. I didn’t mean to overhear this private moment, but when you have an intimate conversation in a public, close quarters location, aren’t you kind of inviting others into it? Where’s the line between being creepy and finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I took my bookstagram photo and moved on. I never looked up from my book to see the strangers arguing next to me, so I wouldn’t even recognize them if I happened to cross their paths another day... but I hope they’re both okay.