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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nick Brennan is back in Ridgeview, visiting his friend Lucas Coleman. Lucas and Nick are at Liz Howley's coffee shop, The Electric Grind. Conversation ensues with surprising results. (Sketch of a story)

Submitted: August 14, 2017

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Submitted: August 13, 2017

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"Why can't coffee shops play better music?" Lucas Coleman asked.

We were sitting in The Electric Grind. Our friend Liz Howley ran the Grind, making it Ridgeview's most popular Coffee destination. It basically stole Starbucks blueprint for business operation, except that Liz replaced the hipsters behind counter with the young kids wanting to learn about customer service. At least that was what Liz told us.

I had returned to Ridgeview after a year. The last time I was here was for a funeral. This time, I was here to visit Lucas Coleman. Lucas was the afternoon DJ on 97.3 KCXL. A tall gangly man with a tight crew cut, Lucas was wearing a Bob Dylan t shirt and black pants. I was wearing a blue button up shirt and blue jeans with sneakers. White to be exact.

"What kind of music would you want them to play?" I asked.

"Truthfully, they should tune into my show." Lucas said.

"They should not," I said.

Lucas tilted his head. "What do you mean? What the hell is wrong with my show?"

"Your show isn't for the coffee house crowd." I said.

"How do you know that?" Lucas asked.

"When you come into a coffee shop, Mr Crowley is not what you wanna hear." I said.

"Look, that was one time. I played Ozzy on a dare. You know I wouldn't normally do that." Lucas said.

"You got a kick out of it. I know you did." I said.

Lucas was faking denial.

"No no no. I try to be a good soldier in the war for good music." Lucas said.

"Ok, in all seriousness, what would you play?" I asked.

Before Lucas could answer, Liz Howley came over with a tray of three cups of coffee. Liz was a beautiful brunette with hazel colored eyes. She and I grew up together right next door. She was widowed, with her husband passing away from cancer. Liz was wearing her trademark athletic clothes.

"Lucas, quit complaining about the music." Liz said.

"But, but Nick started it." Lucas said.

"I'm always getting blamed for things," I said.

"Poor baby," Liz said.

" I just wish all coffee shops could settle on music that doesn't make you feel like your being punished." Lucas said.

"How is this a punishment? I like this." Liz said.

"Typical woman," I said.

"It's calming," Liz said.

"Nothing calming about John Tesh," Lucas said. "Not at all."

"This sounds like what you listen to at the dentist office. Right as you walk in. Isn't that the name of an actual album? Songs to welcome you to the dentist. I'm gonna look that up." I said.

"You guys complain to much. That's your problem. I bet you I can ask any customer and they will agree with me." Liz said.

"Care to make it interesting?" Lucas said.

Liz leaned in towards Lucas.

"What do you have in mind?" Liz asked.

"First person to say this music is awful, you have to play my show for a whole week." Lucas said.

"If I win, what do I get?" Liz asked.

"If you win, Nick will wash dishes tonight." Lucas said.

"Hey, what the hell? I have nothing to do with this." I said.

"Shut up Switzerland," Liz said. "Your on, loose limbs."

Liz turned to focus her attention around the Grind. It was a full house, but luckily she had her full crew in today. She saw a couple of guys in business suits head for the doors.

"Excuse me, what do you think of the music selection?" Liz asked.

"It sucks, just like the coffee." They both said.

"Well, can't win them all." Lucas said.

"Damndible hell," Liz said.

"Sometimes it pays to be Switzerland," I said.

"Laugh it up," Liz said.

We sat in silence for a few minutes drinking coffee.

"Ever been in a threesome?" Liz asked

I spit out my coffee. Lucas laughed out loud.

" I always wanted to try one." Liz said.

"With anyone particular?" Lucas asked.

"Not sure." Liz said.

"What do you mean not sure? You can't bring that up and not have a plan." I said.

"Sure I can," Liz said.

"You can only do that with restaurants. Naming off dishes that sound good. Threesome is like a plan. You have to have the execution. It's a in or out decision." Lucas said.

"In or Out," I said.

"Not now Nick," Lucas said.

I couldn't help but laugh. Liz smacked my shoulder.

"What are you guys doing today?" Liz asked

"I'm gonna head to the station." Lucas said.

"I'm gonna sweet talk the girl at Sugar spot to give me free Ice cream." I said

"I can't believe that place is still opened," Liz said.

"I can't believe it's not butter." Lucas said.

"You know, any store I go to in Montana they don't carry that." I said.

"Well Montana is more like the town elders of Footloose. Can't have fun unless you eat fruits and veggies and hike and play with farm animals." Lucas said.

"You know it really isn't like that," I said.

"Right, instead of Kenny Loggins, it's Kenny G." Liz said.

"Hey, sometimes the mellow sounds are helpful." I said.

"Weirdo," Lucas said.

"You guys wanna meet up at The Tune-up tonight?" Liz asked.

We nodded our heads and agreed to meet at 7 that night.


© Copyright 2017 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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