Monday, August 4, 2014

The Girl in the Coffee Shop (Prose)




She always had an appetite for coffee, house blend was her favorite.  A morning cup meant bliss but, really, she’d drink it all day long.  She would enter every café she passed, flamboyantly flashing her silver rings and the jangly doo-dads of her bracelets.  She loved the sound of the percolator, a whistling teapot, liquid creamer dripping.  In fact, that’s where she met him, at the Busy Bee café.  He ordered a double-shot mocha latte and she thought the Gods must be sending her a signal.

During their first date she was a jumbled ball of nerves, unsure if she should disclose that some nights she felt like a reincarnated Janis Joplin dancing before her bedroom mirror.  But the sun set early during their dinner, the rare blood moon spreading pink clouds like blooming, effervescent flowers across the sky.  Pink was her favorite color, and so she felt that was a good omen.  She quickly fell in love and, he, into her bed.

It was summer break, ten days full of two bodies spilling their chemistry into the sheets of her bed, the old couch from her first semester in college, the shag carpet that absorbed her tears when on the tenth day his call never came.  She was okay for a few hours, wringing her hands and smoking cheap cigarettes (usually she didn’t smoke at all).  But soon her irritation with the front door grew as she waited for the 9pm knock that never came.

In a fevered tantrum of grief and shame, she busted the colorful coffee mug he gave her, save for the one lone point of porcelain, the shard she used to scrape his face from a polaroid picture of them together.  The only picture she had of them together, actually.  And in a pitiful fury of revenge, she flushed the bitter beans of his favorite Columbian coffee down the toilet.  After that she spent long days sleeping and took up baking.  She learned to make fruit loaf, yeast bread, sweet buns and sour dough, though she rarely ate anything she made.  Her loaves of fresh bread became sick gifts she gave to friends and neighbors.  She lost so much weight that her favorite sweater dress hang limp at the elbows. 

Desperate for caffeine, she started making tea.  She preferred it unsweetened so the tang of herb and tree leaves would tingle atop her tongue for hours.  Until one evening in October she ventured into a bookstore, surprised to see a homely café nestled into the far corner.   She couldn’t remember the last time she drank anything besides chamomile tea, so she quickly bought the current issue of Poetry magazine and ordered a Hazel Nut espresso.  As she savored the bittersweet nectar and words of poets by names she’d never heard of, she felt more like herself than she had since…him.

Now every evening you can find her there, in her long necklaces made with charms and hemp, reading poetry and having coffee.  Her favorite seat is in the back right-hand corner so she can choose to lose herself in a book, or observe the hipster patrons engage in conversations about new age rigmarole and the slow demise of pop culture.  Every day she orders something different…Vanilla Bean Latte, Macchiato, even black coffee.  But she never drinks Mocha anymore.


Written for a wordle prompt at Sunday Whirl and shared at Toads open link.

21 comments:

  1. I like this woman. I think she should order Mocha next time and enjoy it. She can miss him (for a little) but not define her life by his absence. Great job on the wordle and the strong woman you portrayed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. so well penned, have a good week

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1) I first misread your blog title as "Warning: The Stars." Like, we'd better watch out for those sneaky stars, sitting up there all sly-like, watching our every move. They just might be up to no good.

    2) I too adore Anne Sexton, so I got excited about the immediate quote.

    3) After reading your sidebar bio, I'd say we'd be best pals if we knew each other in the world of knuckles and skin. I'm typically most compatible with Pisces people. Thank goodness two of my four children are such. I'm continually at odds with the other two.

    4) I rarely enjoy longer works, but I can already tell this is going to be a swell treat.

    5) Indeed, a comment actually related to your piece will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wish I were sitting in that photo up there.

    "He ordered a double-shot mocha latte and she thought the Gods must be sending her a signal." Sounds like solid criteria to me.

    "the rare blood moon spreading pink clouds like blooming, effervescent flowers across the sky" Gorgeous! ... I tend to think of a blood moon as a bad omen though (basically because I used to have a slight addiction to a movie called Practical Magic.

    I love the third paragraph, and the way it segues into the one that follows. Your gentle rhyme throughout is really nice. Like "came" and "shame." (And "porcelain," if you pronounce it in your head the way that I do.)

    "Now every evening you can find her there, in her long necklaces made with charms and hemp, reading poetry and having coffee." This sentence is the hinge of the piece, for me. It made me melt, as I suddenly felt all of her loss and sorrow put in a box that she'll always keep deep inside her. But at least now she can find solace in her books and her caffeine. She has found a way to cope. Not to move on, but to endure and find a bit of peace between bindings and in cups. I love this sentence, and this story in all its broken realism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, what a shining review!

      yes, we do seem like we should be quick blog bffs :)

      and man, i would love to be in that photo drinking coffee and writing and daydreaming too!

      i will be by your blog shortly. can't wait to see you work!!

      Delete
    2. You have to be quick to catch my poems. I hate them all shortly after I share them, so I'm always hiding poems and/or deleting/moving blogs. :P

      Delete
  5. Now here's a size 16 story you've made positively fetching in a size 6 bikini! Caffeine energizes, poetry centers - but sometimes it can be the other way around. You gave me that range in the time I spent with this piece.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sweet, bitter and full of substance. I might turn my nose up at mocha, too, from now on. Just to show good old camaraderie... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd like for you to experience the fortune teller/ seer who does business in downtown Tucson. Her image is inspirational. Her intensity, palpable. Your writing would weave a great tale, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  8. a cautionary tale. damnable mocha - never trust sweet that hides bitter... ~

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love the spy quote. The story has me wanting to know more. I felt like a spy on the spy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this was such a lovely reply. a genie...that would be nice!! i'm sure she'd by the kinda gal who'd make a good friend.

      glad you enjoyed it! :)

      Delete
  11. Coffee and writing go hand in hand!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Too often, her story could be told 'after him.' I enjoyed reading it…glad she lived to tell about it! Sometimes it takes a while to realize, she is so glad he didn't come.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ah, a talented story teller. Well done!

    Thanks for coming by to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. No man is worth giving up coffee! Love this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. NINE DAYS… and she's gonna moon for him for how long? She seems far to cool to waste her time - but that's what so many women do. sigh. You wrote it perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love gone to crap can ruin even wonderful things. That's why I don't bother with that mess any more! Your tale was very realistic.
    I love coffee and tea, but they have to be decaf. I have high blood pressure and am hypersensitive to caffeine.
    Thank you for visiting Poetry of the Netherworld and for your kind comment on my poem in honor of my father.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Tragic but beautiful story. Eventually we all learn to move on and in one form or other start finding ourselves. Not exactly to who we used to be but someone alike and its satisfying enough! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is so appreciated. Your thoughts and critiques are always welcome! I will be by to visit your blog soon!