Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sad Short Story V Lamborghini

Today in the cafe... when it comes to closing time, I now realise that I am locked in a battle of strategy between myself and some higher entity. There are some things I can't do until there are no customers, some things I can only do when there are some customers, and some things I can't do when some of them choose to sit in certain places. I am basically playing a really weird game of chess with The Cosmos. It can be a very frustrating game of chess.

It used to be that I was hopeless at telling old people we are closed or closing. I caved to them all the time. Then it was St Vinnies nurses and doctors. One guy used to always turn up at 3:50pm, 10 minutes before closing. Used to shit me until I realised that he was a nurse starting his night shift and just wanted a coffee and a sugar hit before beginning a night's work totally alien to me. Having once been saved by such people, least I can do etc.

Today I realised my List Of People Lee Can't Turn Away Even Though He Is Closing The Cafe And Wants To Go Home includes Very Very Very Pregnant Women, Odd People Who Just Want To Read Their Book For A Bit, and Travellers With Beads And Stuff Who Just Want A Pot Of Herbal Tea.

Just when I think I have a break, Higher Entity deploys one of the above and my plans are fucked.

This last one, the traveller with the beads. By the time she came in I had given up. I had lost my weird chess game. People were just wandering in and sitting down willy nilly and I just thought fuck it, whatever, you all just make yourself at home because whatever. When you give in to the fact that you have lost the thing, it's easy. And anyway, I was still winning - customers in the cafe is a good thing.

But this traveller with the beads. She started reading my stuff, some of my funny stuff. She approached me at the counter to ask for the wifi password, then laughed as she told me she liked my writing because it was so lovely. Another connection through the writing. I gave her the password. She went back and sat down and continued to read, her attention shared between her phone and my writing at the back of the menus.

Soon I could see that she was totally engrossed in the writing. She was frowning, not laughing. She was reading what was turning out to be my literary chick-magnet - Remembering Argos.

All the nurses and the doctors and the odd people who just wanted to read their book and all the really really really pregnant women left. But I wanted to let Travelling Beadwoman finish the story, so I found other things to do. And when I had finished everything there was to finish, I told her, You are welcome to stay because after I close the doors I'll still be here for a while, but I do have to bring the outdoor furniture in now.

She smiled and said, Thank you, and went back to reading.

And later, when at last she had finished this story that I wrote so long ago, Beadwoman came over to tell me, That story, the one with the man and the woman and the dog... so beautiful it brought me to tears, please, keep writing. And she left.

I don't know what it is about that sad short story, but it's the best shiny sports car I've ever owned.

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