by David Cain
I was working in a coffee house, slinging cups of java to make my daily way, always a little bit buzzed because making coffee usually tempts me to drink some coffee, bringing constant activity, serving, cleaning, wiping, sweeping, the need not to lean while at assigned tasks kept me really just totally wired.
Sometimes customers appeared out of no where, sat for a minute and scooted right off, hardly saying a good word. They carried on invisibly, a silent herd passing me by but once in a while, a story would happen, the quiet erupted. I couldn’t help but listen, my boredom chased away.
An efficient woman entered our shop and gave her order with a practiced precision. I concocted her brew and she scurried away. She placed her coffee, napkin and purse carefully, everything in its place and took out her phone before taking a sip. At this point, she’s a stereotype but that soon changed.
A man stumbled in, sloppy in his dress and in the way he ordered a black coffee and a double shot of espresso. He didn’t seem to be a bum but just distracted. He nearly forgot his espresso. I was mildly surprised when he joined the neat lady.
“We’ve got to stop meeting like this,” she said with a smile. “Harold is getting suspicious.”
He laughed. I felt confused. What, are they serious?
They exchanged some pleasantries, things that meant nothing to me. Clearly, there was no Harold in play. I was in the back for a while and then came back.
“Seriously,” she said, “I think we should discuss last night.”
“Yeah,” he said. “That was crazy. I mean, it was great but I …”
“I don’t want it to come between us.”
“That sounded dirty.”
“Yeah. It was so bad. Was the weed really that good?”
“Spark grows some of the best bud I know.”
“I mean, I’m not a lightweight, you know that but that shit had me zooming.”
“You were a bit friendly.”
“A lot friendly. Like ecstasy friendly.”
“There was some of that later. The orgasmic kind.”
“I can’t believe we did that. We’ve been friends for so long.”
At this point, she looked over toward me. I wiped the clean counter, pretending I was minding my own business. Satisfied with my disinterest, she returned to her sordid affair.
“Look,” he said, “we were both high as kites and I’m guessing neither of us has scratched that itch for a while. Months, almost, well, weeks anyway.”
“Months,” she said, smiling again. I stole peeks, trying so hard not to stare.
“Maybe we just did each other a favor, calmed the lust storm brewing in our sad, lonely souls.”
“The movie was pretty hot, too.”
“We’ve been friends too long to let an indulgence come between us.”
“Or maybe you finally fell in love with me and we can start planning our future.”
“Maybe you were just using me, ready to toss me aside like an old rag.”
“That wasn’t a rag I was tossing. You didn’t tell me you were hung.”
“Hung, schmung. You’ve seen my package wrapped.”
“And now I’ve seen it unwrapped. Happy birthday to me.”
“If we get involved, we run the risk of hating each other.”
“I don’t want that.”
“Nobody wants that. Maybe Harold.”
“Seriously, what’s on your mind.”
“I don’t know. I want to know what’s on your mind.”
“Your cock,” she said too loudly. I quickly looked away. “Shush,” she said. “I think they’re listening.”
“Over there,” she said, meaning me. I went into the back room and stood just inside the door so I could hear them. This was too good to miss. Life in an empty coffee shop gets so dull.
“You want to do it again?”
“I do,” she said after a long pause.
“How about now?”
“Okay,” he said, shooting the double espresso. He knocked over a chair before managing to get to the door. As he held the door open for her to go, he said, “Who’s going to tell Harold?”