Thanks, Russ! Especially for taking the time to struggle.
I've been studying "street" in an academic sort of way pretty seriously for a few months, and I've spent a few visits to the coffee shop observing and thinking about how one might shoot it. A coffee shop is nice, the layout and the operation force the same human interactions, the same glances and sightlines, the same geometries, to occur over and over.
This is actually my very first serious effort, I think this one is exposure #9, and I felt it was the least uninteresting of the lot. Getting the mystery and story is much much harder than it looks! I can tell the coffee-shop story easily -- here is a guy making coffee, here is a guy taking an order. Telling a better story... I think I have to lose the staff and work on customers, who are far less predictable!
I see now that I need to be a lot more mobile, the geometry in play here places the two men back to back, mirrored, and the camera should have been higher to clarify that. HCB was right, it turns out. Go figure!
Not sure I'll pursue it further, but even one time out in an easy, easy location, was very very instructive about the form. There are a couple of those repeated glances that I am itching to try to nail, too.