Stirring Coffee

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A cafe encounter...

Submitted: May 14, 2009

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Submitted: May 14, 2009

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The rubber tip of my black cane hits the concrete with each step of my right foot, and I walk in rhythm to the Black Crowes song I heard yesterday, repeating itself in my head. The song is hardly appropriate for the atmosphere of Ben Gurion St. with its odd post-soviet, half western vibe, and the clash of these phenomena concoct a taste that could be best compared to pineapples and ketchup. I did my best to ignore the pain in my right side, and with my leather messenger bag on my left shoulder, and the cane on my right, I step awkwardly into Espresso Bar and sit on the patio. An average looking waitress walks over, hands me a menu, removes the dirty ashtray from my view, and replaces it with a clean one from another table. I unzip my bag, and pull out Huntington's Clash of Civilizations, and start reading it again for the fifth time, highlighting the same points that I'm sure I've highlighted before, and that concept strikes me as ironic, but unworthy of anymore attention.
The waitress returns and I order a croissant and a cappuccino. What I'm really craving is a cup of that shit black coffee, and a blueberry muffin from Bobby's coffee shop in LA; the place that always made me feel like I was walking into a Tarintino movie, with its black bar stools, linoleum floors and leak stained ceilings, you can not find a better, greasier, cholesterol filled breakfast on the West Coast of the States. Doesn't matter at the moment, and as Bobby's Coffee Shop sleeps on Ventura Blvd. I sit awake, watching, and waiting from the other side of the world. What for, I don't know.
The waitress quickly returns and places the croissant and the cappuccino in front of me on the glass table. Very methodically without removing my eyes from my book I take two sugars, rip open the paper, and empty the contents into my coffee. I pick up the spoon and stir hypnotically while trying to understand why 'civilizations clash.' There's something ritualistic about preparing coffee, often overlooked. Everyone goes about doing this in their own way, naturally amongst all other things, and it is in these most unapparent subtleties that we form subconscious opinions and biases, which often shapes much of what and who we are, or are not for that matter. I think it is in these subtleties that we clash with one another.
"Excuse me, sorry to interrupt, but is that Huntington's?" A naturally beautiful, clearly American girl whom I have never seen before, approaches me and the first thing that comes to mind is the cane.
"No, they think it's a liver issue, but there's no conclusion yet..."
"What?" then she notices the cane.
"Oh!" she instantly starts laughing and points at the book. "Ha, no... the book."
I smile back "Yeah, and considering how many times I've had to read it, I can't even begin to understand how those Muslim kids memorize the Koran before age six."
She laughs again, and so do I, but I'm laughing at how cliche this situation is, and how I've already decided I would totally sleep with this chick.
"I'm taking a course at Tel Aviv University, and the bookstore was out of copies. You think I could borrow yours when you're done?"
At this point I know the whole thing is bullshit, and a wonderfully crafted means of starting up a conversation with a stranger. Honestly, I'm just impressed that she knows who Huntington is, and it seems to be a very lucky day for me, so fuck it.
"For sure. I'll only need it for another day or two."
"Well great, thank you so much. Why don't you give me a call when we can meet up?"
YAHTZEE!
"I will."
She takes a pen out of her shanti purse, writes her number on a napkin and signs it Simona. She smiles, leaves the cafe, and it's at this moment that the old bearded man sitting nearby, who apparently witnessed the whole interaction, raises his glass to me, and in return with a smile, I to him.
You make new friends everyday, I suppose.


© Copyright 2019 Jesse Stock. All rights reserved.

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