May 6 2018
Today’s one thousand words.
The air is supposed to be calm and quiet – who would plan different? On this side there is peace – inside the mind there is this desire for peace and the need for a certain type of day. So the journey is to a coffee shop – it was thought of as early as last night; thought of before bed – that gives time for the necessity to wear in – for the likelihood of success to increase.
Is there some magic quantity of hours – a number of minutes that something like this should stew before it’s a guarantee – a sure thing? No, of course not. It’s always a crap shoot. You take the desire for something that you want to happen tomorrow and you throw it into that pot with everyone else’s desires. Shit – the entire world needing something in the next twenty hours or so and how many are planning that far ahead – hoping it has some book on the outcome? Is that why gambling came into being? That makes him laugh.
Up at 6 – the window that faces east is lit already with sunlight – it’s just peaked over the horizon and the colors are unbelievably beautiful. You could see that a million times and never tire of it.
Hands on the keys for an hour or so – type – see what comes out. It can’t be bad from this seat. The window open – there’s not even a breeze yet – the day is perfect. The bird feeders are empty – he’ll make sure they get filled today – there are a dozen sparrows and a handful of chickadees buzzing around – asking questions.
A shower is next – it’s always good to clean up in the morning and especially on days when you don’t have to. He could get away with a baseball cap and a quick beard brush, but the fact is he kind of likes preening now that he’s single again. He likes to look good.
Out the door by 7:45 – the shop opens at 8 and he wants to be there when the door is unlocked. At 7:55am waiting for the latte to be poured – and in fact just a little early – the door will be open in five minutes – he relaxes on the outside chairs.
It’s a betrayal.
Observe – a twenty something year old man walks on to the patio leading a dog. It has that flat-face Rottweiler look about it – head and jaws of a killer and it’s making noises like the monsters of Alien. A mix of stomach growl and whine – he wonders how hungry it is. It won’t relax – it’s moving against the leash, making the noises again – and gargling now – then more growl and whine. The fucking thing won’t shut up.
The inside of the cafe is cool – the day outside will be hot – it’s only May, but the entire city has been tortured with an unusually harsh winter, and the world is awaiting relief. There is not one customer – he is alone to order, mix sugar into the latte, survey the day and exit again on to the patio. With luck – with any luck at all the leashed mutant beast will be far enough away so that uninterrupted reading can begin – according to plan.
Cranberry muffin and cup situated just so, he begins his magazine and doesn’t notice the two approaching from the West until they begin to speak; the man is quiet – soft spoken – she is the opposite and they saddle up at the next table. Too close for an empty patio and ignorant of propriety in light of the assault she represents.
Her mouth spouts incidental observational trivia – rapid fire – changing subject – every moment bracketed by a cackle – self acknowledgment. They are waiting on coffee and begin thrashing about insinuating themselves onto the day. Subject matter? All – from human trafficking to antique cars – how to leave Eastern Europe and then on to methamphetamine use in Iraq – tin shacks in Jamaica – epidemiology – things people in Alberta don’t take into consideration – except her father and his cronies – and they wrote a book by god… You can’t help but listen and you try not to – you can get whiplash trying to follow; “I’m gonna get a bunch of friends and then get Jim on board – I called him yesterday – it must have been yesterday – Barbie’s death anniversary. Jim – Jimmy boy – Jimbo. Get some money banked and get started…”
Bullshit. You want to just look up from the magazine, drill a look right into her eyes and say out loud – ‘Bullshit. I call bullshit on Jim, Jimbo, Jimmy and Barbie and all your fucking Bullshit’. But you don’t.
She is sitting facing side-on and she’s lifted one heel to rest on the edge of her chair tucked up to her ass, and as she rambles and talks she is concentrating on her busy fingers engaged down below picking at her toe. She is a hundred years old, covered equally head to toe in tattoos and wrinkles – tanned skin – the colour of light shit.
He is now aware that she is voicing pieces of drama in his direction. The timbre of her voice – its loudness and cadence is somehow changed. It’s as if she’s only speaking when her mouth is pointed at his ears. He feels heat rise at his collar. He wants to roll a magazine up – stand – walk to the table and smack her shit-spewing face. From right in front. Just walk up and whack her on her self-serving beak. What the fuck happened? How did this get so far off the rails? There are two magazines and a piece of writing by a favorite author – right there on the table – you can’t recover this. You can’t take the circle of piss this person has squeezed out on the ground – around the entire patio and put it back in her. Best to finish the coffee and just fucking go home.
There is a lot of day left to recover.