In the corner of the coffee shop today, an older, overly tanned woman sat on one of the leather seats drinking house brew with a roller suitcase next to her. Even with ear buds in, I could hear her singing every song they played over the speaker. She turned them all into slow, soulful songs, catching maybe every fourth or fifth word. “Killing Me Softly.” What sounded like a John Mayer song I’ve never heard.
My immediate reaction was that she was homeless. How could she not be? Look at that disheveled knitted sweater with her breasts unintentionally hanging out, her swollen midriff showing through two unbuttoned buttons. The sticky hair.
But I could hear her. Over what I was listening to. One man laughed. A girl studying looked annoyed.
She took a cigarette break twice.
Over the two hours I was at the shop, I lowered my music maybe three or four times. She was off-key, but she made the songs her own.