by Lindsay Meyer
The outside air was cool and dirty and reminded me of home. The street was not crowded and there were few people or cars. I felt the pavement through my worn sandals as I walked across the street and to the cafe. I tried not to think about the cold, the black on my feet.
The cafe was full of fresh people and light faces. Most of the students were fashionable and blonde in one way or another. I didn’t like the cafe because many came to be watched. But I did not come to be watched. In Los Angeles people used everyone for an audience. This part of the city did not appeal to me and for this reason I was beginning to doubt school/I wanted to move back home/California/the west coast.
If you could forget the people, the shop was a good place to work. Sometimes the workers played music in the back, so thinking was hard. But one could still read and sometimes one could write.
The shop sold chocolates and mugs. I didn’t need them. I tried to think about how much better they looked on the shelf than in my room. I turned to look at the scones. They would taste fine with a latte. But I was in a cold mood and I wanted something cold. I ordered an iced coffee but asked for no whipped cream. That way the ice contrasted better with the sweet coffee.
I looked for a place to sit. One man sat at a large table alone. Those around him tried to ignore the smell of his poverty. I chose to sit at a small round table next to the wall, far away from the man but close to people posing for their coffee. I wanted to put them in my work but they wanted a different kind of attention. So I did not put them in my story and tried to ignore them instead.
I got my drink and finished it. I began to forget about the taste of my dinner and began to write. I wrote about growing up in Texas. The air smelled like spring and smelled like running so I wrote about track. I wrote about running against my old rival. It was a good story, and as I wrote I remembered things I had forgotten.
It had been a grey day; I was in a grey mood.
I had brought a sharpened pencil and a blue pen, but I wrote with the pencil. I liked listening to my work. The tip quickly dulled and I needed a pencil sharpener badly. But I had none and I did not want to use the pen. It had been a grey day; I was in a grey mood.
A person I knew and disliked from home had just ordered a drink. As he waited for his drink he came over to chat. We made polite conversation until he decided to leave. After he left I took a break and bought some cake.
On the counter sat an old piece and a whole new cake. The person behind the counter gave me the old, but I enjoyed it anyway. The stale bread had bits of pineapple and they tasted sweet. I ate the cake too fast. I was always wary of things I enjoyed and so tried to have them quickly.
The coffee shop began to close. I watched people leave and decided to stay.