"Tim, you're turning into a player! I mean, by definition, a player. Not to me, you know, but to the outside."
Tim looks into his coffee.
"It's not good, Tim!" says the woman, shouting each syllable.
"I don't know, it's fun," says Tim, bashfully.
"For you! But not for them, Tim!" says the woman. "It's hurtful to them. You ever think about them? How they feel?"
Tim and the woman are both about 30. They're old friends, and they're wearing spandex bike shorts, sitting outside the café in the sun.
"What is it, then?" she says. "You feel like you just haven't met the right person?"
"Yeah, I think it's that," says Tim, softly.
"Well, I guess it's better than getting really serious with someone who's not right," says the woman. "But why do you keep going back to the same women? Aren't you meeting new people?"
"Well, Tina keeps bugging me — calling me, texting me — you know? And I guess I'm really busy. With work, yoga, the Chavez Center. That's pretty much all my time."
"What about Nicole?" says the woman. "I thought you said she was your soul mate."
"Well, that's the thing," says Tim, smiling. "I think they're all like temporary soul mates." Then he looks away. "It's hard. I don't know. It's hard."
The woman takes her tea bag out of her cup, and Tim looks off at the traffic, which is getting thicker.
Inside the coffee shop is a young Dad with two pretty little daughters wearing white sun dresses. A bald man sits at a tall table, reading a magazine, and a fat woman in a bright red shirt is down at the table, reading a newspaper. She looks over at the girls.
"Are those not the most beautiful children you've ever seen?" says the fat woman to the bald man.
"What? Oh, I guess so," says the man, looking over.
"You know," says the fat woman, "that was me when I was little. My father had the same posture as that man, and I looked just like that beautiful little girl. The same hair, the same pretty little face. Everything."
"Is that right?" says the man, trying to picture it.
"Yes, it is," says the woman. "It's amazing. Isn't it just amazing?"