May 1

Kids at the café


Future Perfect Now #148

A group of teenagers sit at a table near me. Pure theatre. I can watch because they don’t see me. I am there, but their world is what consumes them. They talk loudly and laugh a collective laugh whenever a comment or a look or an action deems it a cue for another collective laugh. This group’s uniform is jagged, precise haircuts and torn jeans, a certain type of hoodie and the ubiquitous cellphone. Cracked screens appear to be de rigueur. The subgroups of the sexes have stronger ties than the main group; the boys with louder energy, displayed like cockerels, the girls the recipients, the vessels of measure of progress in the pretence of casual seduction. They look clean and well looked-after. I imagine they have good relationships with parents they are managing as they strike out towards independence, while keeping one hand in the money pot. For moments like this. The energy rises and swirls and dips across the group as leaders prance and followers pay their dues, preening on the fringes with their private thoughts and unfulfilled desires that hold them in tense admiration. A hormonal tsunami in role-play. And I am invisible now. Even if I spoke, I would still be invisible, or a curio, or a device for expression of wit. It would only have a chance of working one on one. For now, though, they are my unwitting entertainment, and I love them all.

About this image

Kids at the café: coloured inks on paper 18 x 24 inches

Back in the day, when it was easy to go out and sit outside a café for an hour or two, enjoying a coffee or a beer in the sun, the peace was occasionally disrupted by crowds of kids, presumably on their way back home from school. They had a particular energy about them that I liked and that I tried to capture in various sketches I made at the time. This is taken from some of those original scribbles.

kids at the café

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About the author 

Lewis Evans

Lewis is a multidisciplinary creative. A prolific artist, he works with a 'beginners mind', using a wide range of painting, cartoon, video and other media. He is an author and also coaches and provides brand development and marketing communications consultancy worldwide.

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