Follow me, please.

coffee

I followed her towards
the coffee shop on the
north side of town. There was

a bench outside near a
small pond with a leafy
tree providing shade from

the midday sun. Next to
the Moonrubles was a
convenience store run by

George Harrison and the
Dalai Lama. I gave
them a dollar and they

handed me a pack of
Camel cigarettes. “Thanks,”
I said, bowing my head

and rushing back to the
woman who was waiting
near the entrance to the

café. We went inside
and ordered our drinks. I
pulled out another buck,

but she waved me away.
“You’ve made me the richest
woman in town.” she said.

“Let me purchase your drink,
please?” I smiled and shook
my head. “A gentleman

always pays for his date,”
I told her. “It’s common
practice in the U.S.

and seeing as how I
asked you out, I’m paying.
Put your money away.”

“You’re being sexist, dick,”
said a woman with a
sneer the size of Denver.

“Go suck an egg, Hilda,”
the woman beside me
said. “He’s just being nice.

Put down your lighter and
please, for the love of Der
Kommissar, put your bra

back on. Those things hang low.”
“They wobble too and fro,”
I mumbled, and Hilda

tried to claw my eyes out.
My date held her back with
one arm while ordering

a tall chai latte with
milk, honey and sugar.
I was impressed, to be

sure. I ordered a plain
cup of joe with the same
ingredients. Hilda

was ranting and raving
about the benefits
of soy and Mr. Kite.

“Who’s that?” I asked, and the
whole place turned. “Mr. Kite,”
one man said. “The Giant,”

murmured an old woman,
as she clutched at her shawl
and crossed herself. I grinned.

“Aw come on now,” I said.
“You’re messing with me, right?”
I was the only one

smiling. The rest of them
wore expressions of fear,
superstition and rage.

“Let’s go outside,” my date
said, taking my arm. I
opened the door and said…

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