Mee Siam

My umbrella saves my seat
I encounter strange silence
when I return to it
Hi, I say cheerfully to the middle-aged women
who outnumber the one of me by four
They have sat around my umbrella.
Terse smiles. 
Perhaps they sense I’m one of their kind
but
Alone.

Then silence.

I wonder if I’m taking up anybody else’s seat
and hunch low
willing invisibility

The mee siam is my companion
I do not slow down
determined to enjoy its hot sour gravy and eavesdropped conversations

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