Blogopera #1 - Coffee Break

I love writing and I've written some fiction with mixed results. I seem to do better with a basis of truth that I can exaggerate from and build upon, take one story and retell it molding it until it's a little sexier, a little funnier. Before I met my husband, I dated. A lot. I started trying to write about my life at that time. As I reflected on the 'highlights' of that single life, a little story began to take shape. I have to say, I'm ambivalent about sharing it here. I'm not sure this is the forum but I thought it might be fun to have a story in excerpts,a little here a little there, kind of like reading on the can. So, from time to time, I will include 'the next installment'. And be warned, this is not literature(said in a British accent) this is basically a pulp-style romantic short story. It's a bit saucy(ie. there is some sexy time in it) so if that's not your bag, skip it and read the fun stuff. Let me know if it's a feature you enjoy reading or not. If you do, I will continue to post updates, if you don't, I'll stop posting it and go rock in the corner sucking my thumb with my therapist on speed dial.


Soap Blogopera #1/Coffee Break
Talk to me, talk to me, talk to me. I willed him to talk to me. I had recently read up on quantum theory, the part about what is possible if the mind believes it can be. Ok, so read up on is a bit of an exaggeration. I watched a movie that touched on it and subsequently bought a weighty theory book that has since sat unread with the receipt neatly tucked into it. Come over here and talk to me, I silently demanded. Maybe I just wasn’t concentrating enough.

I distractedly examined the movie reviews in the paper in front of me to keep from looking out of place. Trying not to appear like I had just spent five dollars for a coffee I didn’t really want so I had an excuse to sit at the bar of the café and wait for him to talk to me. Scanning the headlines I found one The Passion of the Christ Re-released, now with less tortured Jesus. Funny. I looked up as I softly chuckled and he was standing right in front of me.

Hey, said he. Hey, said me. I felt like I was sixteen instead of thirty, trying to be so casual. He was exceptionally laid-back, which probably explained the barista career choice as opposed to something like a stock broker. He was tousled looking, attractive with a general air of indifference, more than a little swagger and just a hint of interest. Ah, for me, instant panty remover.

“What’s so funny? he asked.
I read him the Jesus review, he laughed and said we should put that on a t-shirt, start our own business. Oh, I could think of better ways to spend time together. I laughed, went back to my paper, my eyes moving over lines, reading nothing. Volley that ambivalent interest right back at you buddy.

I was busy ignoring him when I heard the loud whir of machinery and I looked up to see he was vacuuming out the pastry cooler. He caught my eye and attached the hose of the shop vac to the crotch of his pants, all the while maintaining his staid expression. I laughed, he laughed. I finished the last sip of the nine pm coffee that would keep me up all night, folded my newspaper under my arm, slid off the stool and headed towards the door.

“Hey, you forgot something,” he yelled in my direction.
I turned around to look at him, my eyebrows raised.
“Goodnight,”, he said, his face breaking out in a giant grin.
I held the silence a moment, “Goodnight.” And I walked out the door.
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I clearly remember the first time he said my name. He must have overheard somebody talking to me or asked somebody who knew me because though we had shamelessly flirted for weeks, we had never formally introduced ourselves. Or, maybe he just read it off my credit card. I had just finished a run and was treating myself to a green tea latte. It was a Friday, and he didn’t usually work which is why I was satisfied with being a sweaty mess rather than the effortless perfection I usually aimed for. I approached the empty counter and he came around from the back hefting a stack of large boxes. He dusted off his hands on his sides, set the boxes down and sidled up to the register.

“Did you just call here Natalie?” he said sounding almost grave.
“No?” I said, confused.
“Yeah, it was you,” he responded, nodding his head as if to confirm it.
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t make any phone calls to my local coffee shop today.”
“Yeah, it was definitely you.”
“Oh, right, I totally forgot, I did call, I wanted to know if you had any lemon bars left.” I said sarcastically.
“I knew it,” he sounded satisfied.
“I didn’t call,” I said getting irritated.
“Well, you should have.”

I ordered my drink, slightly aggravated.
“To go please, I’m going home.”
“Where’s that?” he asked.
“Why do you inquire?” I said almost offering it up as a challenge. We had gone on like this for weeks and he kept making subtle and not so subtle hints that he’d like to ask for my number.
“In case we start delivery service, just trying to be proactive,” he said seriously but that wide grin of his spread across his face.
“Really.” I said flatly.
“Yep, you never know when you might need a lemon bar and you’re in your jammies”, he said as he handed me my latte.
“Listen,” I said and in a moment of boldness took the napkin from around my drink and grabbed the pen from his hand, “I’m right around the corner, if you ever want to stop playing games and act on this, this,” I stumbled for the words, “this, whatever this is between us, here.” I thrust the slip of paper at him, turned around and walked out before I had a chance to feel the awkwardness and abject disgust at myself that would come later that night when I sat wondering which coffee shop I’d have to go to from now on, since clearly, I’d be too embarrassed to go back.

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I walked the block from café to home past the flower shops, resale shops, and consignment furniture stores that peppered the historic district where I lived. I heaved up the steps of the porch, my legs tired from the run and opened the heavy wooden door to my apartment. I peeled off my clothes and got into the shower both to rinse off the sweat and grime and try to stop my mind from replaying my impulsive, presumptive rant. I picked up the house, opened the front door to let the cool ocean breeze wash through, fixed myself dinner and hunkered down to watch some television.

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An hour or so later the news was about to start when I heard the rattle of someone knocking against the thin, metal screen door. I clicked off the television and walked to the door. There he was, looking somewhat tired but unexpectedly nervous.
.. until next time(cue the organ)

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4 comments:

Anonymous said... June 3, 2008 at 12:03 PM  

How could you stop here?!? This isn't an episode of LOST, you know!

CatJ said... June 3, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

LOVE IT! Keep them coming.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said... June 3, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

Oh.
Don't.
Stop.
Please.

Formerly Fun said... June 3, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

Ok, but I'm warning you, it's going to get naugh-ty.

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