Those little islands of leisure in the middle of any city— the cheap plastic tables and chairs near a hotdog stand or taco truck. The battered wooden picnic benches outside a pub or coffee shop, a shaved ice push cart where people stand nearby in summer eating the cold treats they just bought. Under a screaming yellow beach umbrella at a gas station three guys sit, all with big beers in front of them and looking like they haven’t moved since the last election. Most of the time the people sitting in these small oases look pretty happy. Like they’re taking a mini vacation from the day; a few minute sneak-away from the job, their responsibilities, what the world expects from them. It’s also interesting to watch the expressions on the faces of the passersby: Often they smile or look wistful. You can tell they’re thinking how nice it’d be to spend ten minutes in the sun or the shade doing nothing but sipping a cool one or eating something delicious fried, grilled or steamed but definitely naughty.
— Jonathan Carroll