Coffee Shop Writer

This is a draft of a short story that I later revised. Click here to read the final version.

Here I sat in the coffee shop, day in, day out. Warm tones, soft music, chatting folks milling through. Every day in, and every day out, I sat in this overstuffed booth, watching the shop, drinking mocha and beans and milk and cinnamon. Watching.

I had a notebook in front of me, perfectly centered. The napkin holder, the small flower in the vase, the salt, the pepper, the menu, all were straightened in the middle of the table. My stack of impeccably sharp pencils at a ninety degree angle to the edge of the table, resting across the top of the pages. One of these pencils always perched on top of my ear, through my hair. My mug of coffee never left a single stain, my crackers never left a crumb. It was the perfect environment for my work– the music, the inspirational atmosphere, the coffee and soup and panini’s and overstuffed chairs. I looked down toward my page, day in and day out, looking over my marvelous brilliance from the day before.

The blonde waitress would come every hour, refilling my coffee with a smile and a stack of one cream and two sugars. At least once a day, she’d always ask what I’m writing that day, and my standard reply would be uttered. “Oh, a great novel,” or “A catchy tune.” I would never let anyone peek into my notebook, that notebook that sat there, perfectly centered.

My smoking jacket, with my neatly pressed pants, my dark shirts, and my characteristic hat– they would always put me into the right mood to write. I’d feel creative and free of social expectation. I felt I’d be able to write a Bestseller, or a Platinum Single, or win an Oscar for my great screenplay. It would be perfect, free of any mistakes. It would have the most intriguing beginning, the most intelligent middle, and the most clever end. It would have the most memorable tune, and the most meaningful lyrics.

Here I sat in the coffee shop, day in, day out. I had a notebook in front of me, perfectly centered. Each morning I opened it carefully, pulling back the pristine cover, watching the blank page.

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