The aim: to get writing again.
The method: using Free Writing Prompts from this list, over the next couple of weeks. Today’s prompt is in bold at the beginning of the piece.
The time limit: 15 minutes
Location: the communal cafe table at The Drugstore in Summer Hill.
He was known for his coffee order.
After the door shuts and the footsteps die, all he’s left with is a pounding headache and a dull, indeterminable despair.
He’d invited his friend to join him at the table – no, wait, his friend had actually invited himself! Before that he had been quite happy sitting at the cafe table alone, with the distraction of the free newspaper, a half-completed crossword and his satisfactorily completed architectural designs.
He was a regular customer at the cafe and the girl at the counter had anticipated his order of a ‘Long Black’ as he’d entered. That felt good. Being known. Though, let’s face it, she only knew his coffee preference.
Then in came his old mate – more of an acquaintance really. As the mate settled into the chair next to him at the communal table, a feeling of impending doom settled in for the duration.
This mate thought he knew this guy really well! Thought he could get him sorted! Thought he knew the insights that would soothe this troubled soul sitting next to him. And so he declared,
‘We’re just sperm banks, mate!’
‘I don’t know about that…’
‘Well, I do know! I’m telling you, that’s all we are to them, mate!’
‘Well…actually…I had a pretty good relationship with a woman for 24 years.’
‘Yeah, but we’re more than that. We don’t need them! We’ve got our work, our skills, our success. Those women want to reduce us to nothing!’
The mate continued his pronouncements with the occasional thumping of the table and an occasional ‘Listen to me, mate!’ to ensure his point was clearly heard.
The ‘listening man’ had given up listening some time ago – or at least he wished he could stop listening – making occasional furtive glances around the cafe, hoping the girl seated at the other end of the table was not hearing this soul-crushing, emasculating diatribe.
His friend meant well…one would hope.
The well-meaning friend certainly felt better as he got up to leave the cafe.
‘I enjoy our little chats!’
The man, who’d earlier rejoiced in being known for his coffee preference, waited a few minutes after his friend’s departure, pretending to be interested in the free newspaper on the table before him.
Then he stood up to leave, with a sigh. Picking up his architectural designs, he glanced at the woman at the end of the table. Then he left, closing the door behind him, wishing he could have got to know more about her – starting with her coffee preference.