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Short Story

Temptation In A Coffee Shop (short story)

This coffee tastes like shit. Why do I feel like I need to buy a coffee to stay in a coffee shop? I should have just bought a juice, I even saw bananas by the till. I would love a banana, when was the last time I had fruit? Could I feel like I could work for a few hours here with just a banana though? Would people look at me and judge me? It’s not so busy here but it is a money making establishment. What’s a banana cost, a dollar? Maybe nobody cares, maybe nobody thinks about things like this, or if they do they only focus on themselves. I’m not looking around at other people, wondering it they have earned their place to stay in this coffee shop. Still. Buying a coffee in a coffee shop, I guess it just makes a certain sense. “Hey everybody, look at me, this is a coffee shop and here is my coffee. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do here. So fuck off.” Yeah, I guess that works.

Ughhh. What am I supposed to do. I’m just not in a working mood. Ughhh. My head hurts just looking at this excel worksheet. Come on brain, start. Let’s go. Ok, so let me get my set of raw data from last month and compare it to last month and last years. I’m sure there’s growth, we’re making a good profit, why do we care? Does my partners even care? I sit here for hours and it looks pretty and there are these lines going in all the right directions, but is it just an ego boost for my partners? No, I think the physical affirmation means something. I’m just feeling lazy. Maybe it’s good I have this coffee, maybe it’ll jump start my brain a bit.

My eyes keep drifting around the room. Come on. Come on. Time slips away. How long have I been here. I haven’t done anything yet. I just want to daydream and float. I just want to put my laptop in my bag and put on a pair of head phones and drift through the streets, disappearing in my mind. Yeah, that sounds nice. Let me be free. Let me be free. But, I’m not free. I said I’d do this. What am I if I’m not my word. Eyes stop drifting.

Who is this girl that just sat down next to me? She just has a banana, good for her. I should do that next time. I should be more healthy. I should be better than myself. My eyes creep up from the banana to her hands. Why do girls always have such elegant hands? As if they were designed to play the piano. How stupid that we shove cocks in their hands when they should be making art? But maybe that’s why it’s so nice, their delicacy compared to all our brusqueness. She has a nice black nail polish on. Is she a punk? Nah, let me flash a quick look, no, definitely not. I guess wearing black nail polish isn’t the major stigma it used to be. Besides, she’s brave enough to buy a banana and take a table at a coffee shop, maybe she just doesn’t give a shit, maybe she is just herself.

She’s cute. How am I supposed to do work when there’s this cute girl next to me? What’s she doing? She’s got her computer out too! With only buying a banana? Is that really fair. I wonder if anyone will say anything. I wonder what her voice sounds like. I wonder what she dreams about. She really is cute. Look at her, staring at her computer, so determined. Is that a condescending thought? I wonder if I’m sexist. Whatever, the world is more complex than the words we associate with it. I don’t look down on her or anyone, isn’t that what sexism is? No, I suppose it’s not. I don’t really feel like thinking about it right now. I think I’m just going to keep looking at this girl out of the corner of my eye. Let me enjoy her beauty like a flower. If only I could smell her. If only I could be close to her. Do I want to fuck her? Maybe. I think I would rather wake up with her. Am I lonely? When is the last time I woke up and had another human being, eyes wide and beautiful and brown, are these girls eyes brown, waking up and being stared at. Just quiet, not a big deal, but having someone stare at me. Makes me feel real. See that look that they really see you. To wake up feeling close to something, to someone. Is that love? I don’t think I’ve ever known love, but maybe that’s a type of love that means something to me. Spare me all this bullshit about lightning bolts, I just want to feel close to someone. I want someone to feel close to me. To make each other be real. To be close. To be able to reach out to another human being and touch them. To be touched by another human being.

Her hair is short. I love short hair. I love the feeling of putting my hand around their neck and feeling their bare skin. To run my thumb up and down and to stare at those brown eyes again. To be close. I would like to be close. When was the last time I was close with someone? When did Stacy and I break up? She was beautiful, for awhile there we really made each other exist. I wonder how that feeling disappears without you even really noticing it. Is love like a bottle of wine, when you finish drinking it there is no more, it’s just empty, what was there is now gone? I wonder. I wonder if I will ever fall in real love. I wonder if real love really exists.

I should be working. This work isn’t going to do itself. Do I have time to complete it still? Yes, but it will be a rush. Fuck. This is just one thing on my to-do list anyway. I wish I could catch up. There are all these responsibilities. I want to be better than I am, I wish I was better than I am, I will be better than I am. I will be, I will be. I can achieve my dreams. And here I just spent ten minutes thinking about this girl. Maybe love is like a bottle of wine, but so is life. Maybe I could share this finite resource that is myself with all these different specters that I dream about. Give some of the nectar of my soul to love, give some to myself, give some to living a meaningful life. Then, maybe there is just not enough of me to go around. To dilute myself means that I will never actually use that potential that I have. Everyone would be drinking, but no one would be getting drunk on the magic of myself. Sorry to the pretty lady and sorry to myself, I need to be committed. I need to think about nothing but work. I need to be better than this time I am spending thinking right now. Let me dive into this spread sheet. Maybe this is not the only way to live a meaningful life, maybe this is not even the life I want to live, but this is the life I have committed too and I will not back down. Back to work.

Besides, she probably has a boyfriend anyway.

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