A moment in what some might say is hard to grasp but virtually possible.
A young women moves to an unfamiliar town, unable to decide on which foot to step forward with she continues to dwell more in the past than the present. Awkwardly standing with her down-washed Levi’s and a spiffy shirt she purchased from the Nordstrom rack that went so well with her bug-eyed shades she thumb’s the crosswalk button only to realize that she’s being timed to make haste before an on-coming biker Armstrong’s her as if he’s in the tour de France. She crosses.
A coffee shop at the corner caught her attention as she stepped up to the west side of the main street. Normally, she doesn’t drink coffee but for some reason she had this duodenum feeling of curiosity that the coffee shop might be a good idea, granted, she was new in town. She enters the shop, amazed at the décor of the walls and the children’s play area, she orders a simple coffee. The cashier says, “ that’s $1.10”, she searches through her bag looking for her cash but she cant seem to find any, so she decides to pay with a credit card and the cashier asks if she had an ID? She shamefully hands it over only for the cashier to smile and make her feel like the pose was regrettably noted, he silently say’s “ Audrey Cortez”, he swipes the card and hands it over with the coffee and gestures to the customer behind her.
As she walks toward the condiment section that was so creatively embellished with smooth shades of earthly pastels, she adds two sugars, a four second count of soy milk, and then she continued to blow into her coffee through the sip orifice as if it would turn into ice coffee as soon as she took the first taste.
From what she caught earlier as she came in, she decided to have her coffee in the children’s play area. Of course, it was somewhat elementary having a twenty-some odd year old girl sitting in a hobbit like environment, but she didn’t care, she felt as if being surrounded by children’s toys, picture books, and soft pillows were as comforting to her as being back at home. Moreover, there weren’t any children around to invade the space, so she nestled in and found this particular picture book that she remembered as a little lady, “Where the Wild things are”. Slightly appealed, she sips her coffee and skims through each page as if she was getting reacquainted with an old friend. She smiles.
A moment into her coffee, she hears a bell ring that was attached to the entrance door. The door, which was a few steps away elicited a young man noticeably covered with a dark pea-coat with the collar folded up and a scarf that kept his carotid warm enough to escape a headache, he proceeds to the cashier and orders a green tea. Discretely, Audrey uses her blind-sided tactics to quench her curiosity and mindfully checks him out. Not a moment to soon, she goes back and returns to her old friend, still amazed by the artwork of the book, she remembered how it was to be a child again.
As he sat down near a window, close to the condiment section, his phone rang. A loud Mick Jagger was screaming from his phone stating that he couldn’t get no satisfaction! He answers mid way through the song, “ this is Raymond”, “oh hey, how you been…oh well, I’ve been Ok, just keeping busy you know….but…can I call you back? I’m kind of in the middle of something….” Of course the common white lie that we all convey when we want to be left alone. “Ok great, I’ll talk you soon” he hangs up, tucks his phone back into his over size coat and continues to enjoy his tea while at the same time he notices a girl sitting in the children’s play area delightfully smiling while she’s reading what he thought was possibly a magazine of some sort, perhaps a NYLON issue of that month.
As he got comfortable, he pulled out his laptop engaging into the cliché of every upcoming writer’s humble beginnings. Oh yes the first great novel in a coffee shop! You can’t get any cheesier than that. As he sits and waits for some type of free association to loosen his web-headed dictionary that he referred to as his creative bank, he can’t seem to budge, he finds himself swaying away and focusing his attention to that young lady in the Shire.
So like any young man desperate to work, he walks towards her. Not knowing what her reaction might be he whispers as if he was in class, “ So is that your copy or is it the shops?” surprised by his discrete encounter she reply’s “ oh…it’s the shops” as he continues “man, I haven’t seen that book in a while, that must have been the greatest thing ever when you stumbled over it?” See now Audrey wasn’t uncomfortable with the idea of some random guy approaching her but she did feel a little nervous, as did Raymond. “ yeh it was, did you wanna borrow it?”, “no..no..I was just wondering, I’m sorry I don’t mean to be a pest and I just figured…” she interrupts “ of course not, you shouldn’t feel like that. Plus, you don’t seem dangerous”. While Raymond was mentioning how he thought that the book she had on her lap was so nostalgic, she couldn’t help it but become more interested. So they introduced themselves to each other and Raymond asked if he could join her, without hesitation she agreed.
The two sat there like a drum note on tune. Completely into their conversations and forgetting why they brought an umbrella to a sunny day, they both obviously made sense. They talked about television shows from the past and there top 5 favorite movies that they both strongly believed in.
As the lights were dimming down by the same cashier that carded Audrey earlier, the conversation was coming to an end and they both knew it. “ So, I guess this is me saying goodbye” Raymond notes, “ yeah I guess me too” Audrey says, then while Raymond was getting up he says “ well, its been real, and I hope I can run into you again, it was nice to meet you Audrey” he puts his hand out in hopes for some type of connection, without hesitation she gladly shakes his hand and says “ till next time…”
Raymond took off without even asking for her number which she thought was a little different. It made her think that he might have a girlfriend but by the way they conversed it was up to chance she assumed. She got up, returned the book into its proper place and stepped out from the same door she entered and thought to herself….”this may not be a bad idea”.
(I wrote this in an hour in 2005, it has a ton of grammatical errors but life is filled with imperfections that we can’t hide from)