We met at the corner of Alcatraz and College on a warm evening and sat at tables outside A Cuppa Tea to sketch. Two women sat down beside me with cups of tea and began talking about prison while counting passing dogs. They asked about our sketching group, noticing us drawing, and then shared that this was their Tuesday night routine, and they were up to a dozen dogs already.
Although I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, hearing them talk about life in prison and the girls in their halfway house was just too interesting. It seemed ironic that having recently gotten out of prison they chose to meet on the corner of Alcatraz (the infamous prison located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay).
It was great having the light of the cafe to sketch by as it got dark. When I could no longer see the street scene I turned around and drew the inside of the cafe through their window.
When we all finished sketching we went inside to see each others sketches. There were signs all over saying, “Tables for customers only!” (To fend off the students who clog all the cafes in town with their computers and piles of books). So Sonia bought another lemonade and when we left a few minutes later we left tips for the waitress.