Nova Avalon has only three local café's, and one of them, Lilly and Wally, doesn't even serve coffee anymore, since the stuff is just too scarce here in the vast and peaty wildness of 45º north.
I still enjoy having one from time to time, but it's really a luxury nowadays, a luxury we had all taken for granted way back in the day, in that woeful time we now call: The Great Forgetting.
Walk into any Starbucks or local café, in those dark and early years of the 21st century, and you could usually observe five of the following:
A: A disproportionate amount of men to women sitting sipping their hot beverages, with hungry eyes glancing over from whatever they may have been reading, discretely surveying whatever lovely women may have been sitting within airborne striking distance of their masculine pheromones.
B: Women deeply immersed in their laptops, often with stacks of textbooks, papers and matronly coats scattered and draped across a table intended for communal sharing; Their unobstructed focus punctuated occasionally by upward glances to make sure some crazed knife wielding psycho hadn't just walked into the café (as seen on TV!).
C: An assorted selection of men and women queuing in line. The men would then proceed to take their drink over to a seat of their choice, while most of the women would usually take their drinks 'to go', stopping ever briefly to hastily add some sweetener whilst texting any one of their 814 Facebook friends (remember, women of your time period had led very busy lives).
D: The ubiquitous Male 'baristas' with effeminate voices and designer facial hair sporting absurdly stretched pierced ears (usually with some sort of nodule inserted into what remained of their god-given earlobes).
E: Cops standing in line to buy a quick tea or coffee (perhaps trying to clean up their former unfair image as mere doughnut consuming tax-collectors).
The Flirtation Void
Much had changed since the happy-go-lucky days of the roaring 1990's. Many women had long since exchanged the social prop cigarette packs for mobile self-phones, bad breath for carpal tunnel syndrome, and lung cancer for brain tumours.
The men had by this point been thoroughly beaten down by their newly acquired subordinate roles as passive social observers, and were desperately trying not to reveal the raging sexual impulses generated from their throbbing testosterone, terrorizing their otherwise vain attempts to appear at all times 'under control', and never 'needy'.
It was a tough time to be a guy, for sure! Gone were the days when the western male could hone his essential flirtation skills with the opposite sex by engaging in witty banter with a pretty waitress.
Ever since the advent of the thinly-aproned drone-male dominated service industry, this natural social facilitator mechanism had suddenly vanished, leaving regular guys no place to brush up on their flirtation skills in a safe and controlled environment. The result of this had helped accelerate a phenomenon sometimes known as Westernized Underdeveloped Sexual Syndrome, or better known as: W.U.S.S.
The waitress/client dynamic had been a vital social tool for men of all stature, but with this vital component of our culture having been stealthily removed, the only confidence building mechanism left for most men had been relegated to brief interactions at strip joints or sometimes (egads!)… with telemarketers.
Back here on the farm, human beings are much too busy taking pleasure pleasing one another to bother wasting time and resources frequenting the MDF decorated haunts of soulless corporate café's… and besides, there's just too many damn chores to do anyway, and precious little time available to while away the hours sipping expensive flavoured water.
Future CT Village 5, Nova Avalon. Year 17 P.T.E.