WHAT THE EYES BEHOLD
You need to get some work done. But what’s with all the distractions?
Why do I keep coming to this place? The coffee’s not that special. Neither’s the music. And that cute barista who always smiled that special smile has moved on. I hope she wasn’t fired. Did she suddenly quit? Maybe she met a guy and moved somewhere with him. But that’s okay. It means fewer distractions, so I can get some work done. I have a novel to write.
And if I get the right table I won’t be tempted to keep looking at the female customers. I should sit in the non-smoking section too. I have a novel to finish, and watery eyes are the last thing. Actually, I’d be better off having my manuscript on a laptop and not have to deal with all this messy paper. It’s the 21st century, for crying out loud. But what if somebody spills coffee on it? What then? Or if I spill coffee on it?
Well, well. What have we here? That guy over there with the burgundy laptop. I’ve seen him here before. He looks pretty cool, staring at a spreadsheet. I should do something like that. People respect you when you stare at a spreadsheet while drinking coffee. It marks you out as an alpha male. See, now he’s talking on his smart phone while he works the keyboard. What’s that language he’s speaking? Maybe if I go over and pretend to check out the coffee beans I can…French! That show-off is speaking French!
Those two babes in the smoking section are looking at him. That one on the right has unbelievably long purple fingernails. I worry about things like that. I mean, how can she wipe her butt without doing some serious damage? And can she go bowling? Both babes appear to be office workers. Surely she can’t type with those nails. I’ll bet she’s good at opening envelopes, though. Her friend with the pony tail is pretty hot, too. No ring on her finger, but does that necessarily mean anything?
Look at how they’re both smoking like chimneys. They’re obviously on a break from work, so it’s like four cigarettes in 20 minutes. I should’ve sat in the smoking section. I’ll sit there every time from now on. That way, if they come again I can fake a phone call in French and note their reaction. I might even make eye contact with one of them. Or even both. Pretend that it’s no big deal, just speaking French with my very own Parisian publisher. Mon èditeur parisien. And then when they leave I can smile a general smile their way and see who smiles back first. The pony tail or the long purple nails?
Why am I wasting time like this? I have a novel to complete. The deadline looms. I should order something stronger this time. If I order something with a kick to it then I can really knuckle down. Cappuccino! That’s what I need. I don’t like cappuccino, but I need it. A double-shot cappuccino and then knuckle down.
(Four minutes later.)
I really should’ve checked these chapter outlines before I came here. I’ve already wasted too much time. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. That’s Richard the Second, Act 5. Some things you never forget. Hmmm, that guy who just walked in with those two tall young women looks a bit kingly himself, like European royalty. Receding chin, suspect dentition. He’s probably descended from ten generations of people marrying their cousins. Those two tall young women aren’t bad looking, though. Not bad at all. But what’s with all the pairs of women today? Are they riding shotgun for each other or something?
The younger woman there has a haughty look, like she’s Cleopatra. High maintenance, for sure. She’d wear the pants in any relationship. Tight pants, too. Tight, faded blue jeans. Low cut. And under those tight, low cut jeans? Wait! Let’s not get carried away.
My eyes aren’t playing tricks, are they? She’s looking straight at me! Or is there something interesting behind me? No. No. She’s definitely looking at little old moi. Enchanted by my aura. Now what? Play it cool? Or roll the dice and go for it?
But what’s that unusual expression on her face? Something’s not quite right. Or maybe she’s just inhibited because she’s with a friend. Now her friend’s looking at me too. Something’s amiss. Is my fly open? They couldn’t see that. Or is there snot hanging out of my nostril? Merde! That’s all I…Oh, wait! Wait! The cappuccino. Who can drink cappuccino without getting any on their top lip? I must look like a clown. But I’ve hardly touched my cappuccino. So I’m clean, then? But then why are they both giving me that funny look? Both of them.
Only one way to check without being too obvious. Slowly, ever so slowly…raise the paper towel to my mouth and check for froth. That’s all. If it’s froth-free then they’re not looking at me for the worst possible reason. Anyway, I have to know the reason. I have to know for sure.