Way beyond being bathed in light, I sat in the glare of the overhead white tubes. Around me was colour, every aspect of the interior shouted for my attention. Posters, packaging, advertising and menu boards filled the spaces. Dropped from the ceiling was the usual array of commercial christmas decorations and the continual blaring chimes of festive tunes assaulted the ears and raised the level of conversation from talking to a debate so that all within earshot could listen, regardless of desire.
With my hearing and eyesight overloaded with information I focused on my breathing to enlighten my senses of taste and smell. I would have expected a restaurant to be filled with the aroma of cooking food to the point of salivation, but not so. Hot oil dominated my nostrils but there were other scents below the surface and after a moment I recognised them. Cleaning products portrayed the staffs continual efforts to maintain standards after the spills and discards of careless patrons, the body odour of those a few tables away was also evident, but not overpoweringly so. I lifted my black coffee to my face to help mask the scents and cast my eyes around again. I was aware of the usual half glances and considerations directed at me. Not fitting the usual customer profile was bound to draw some attention. My worn foot ware with snagged and tired clothing show the miles I cover but in no way give the image of the family type or workman. I passed a smile and a few pleasantries with the lady clearing the tables, the friendlier side of my nature seemed to help put a few people at their ease.
Once I drained my cup I packed up and slipped out of the door. In the twilight the moon was there to greet me. Clear air cooled my face and began to cleanse my nose of the oils and chemicals. The soft light soothed my eyes and the hum of the near by traffic seemed a whisper compared to the music from within. I glanced around to see the people through the window, against the growing darkness they seemed to be lit up like a stage show, from excited children running around and standing on the seats to the under forties chewing and chatting loudly.
I turned into the new night. "Merry Christmas" I thought.