Today’s entry for the Daily Prompt. Others may be read here.
Honestly, sometimes, I think to myself, “I don’t want to participate in today’s Daily Prompt.” Need not to worry, though, here it is… [Just as a little note, I’m (probably) still typing, but I think I’m done. Just going off the top of my head as usual, nothing special.]
It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
I don’t go to coffee shops much. Actually, I don’t drink coffee at all, so I don’t need it in the mornings. But, it was something different. A place I’d never been, and I was ever-curious to give it a venture. It was only around the block from my house anyway, I thought.
I also thought about the people I’d probably talk to. Perhaps I’d even run into someone I knew there. Now that I’m back, I honestly cannot say if it were a good idea or not.
When I got there, I didn’t want any coffee. I had my mind set on not drinking the stuff anyway and I was very certain about that. The smell of the coffee grinds alone as I opened the door, was strong enough to erase even the memory of the dreams I had the night before. I wasn’t going to need to drink the stuff too.
Inside this new building – well, it wasn’t just new to me, the place actually is new. It’s part of the recent shopping center remodeling and not to my surprise, still looked new on the inside. The checkered black and white floor tiling had no scuffs. In fact, they were so clear, I could almost see my reflection. Maybe the lighting was a bit too dim for that.
Looking past the plastic props of different varieties of caffeinated beverages and ignoring the huge green chalk board riddled with weird words, I could only assume were names for the drinks, I looked for the attention of the person behind the counter.
“Good morning! Which drink would you like to order?”
“Wi-Fi, please,” I replied back to her.
With that, she gave me the sharpest stare. Surely she knew I wasn’t intending to drink the internet. I just may have been the only person to walk into the place without wanting coffee. It wasn’t as if there wasn’t a library directly across the street, but I’d been there before and never here.
“Yes,” she finally said. “Public one, the password is coffee — all lowercase.”
I turned around a proceeded to walk past the tables and chairs towards one of the empty seats at the wall. I even had enough time to pull my computer from my bag and connect to the wifi before someone sat at the opposite end of my table.
“Hello, is this seat taken?”
Before saying a word, I looked back at all the tables I walked past. All but one were still empty. At that moment, I thought to myself, if I said yes, it would have been no different than hanging out the library.
“No, it isn’t,” I replied.
“Oh, good! Thank you! All the other window seats are taken,” she said, starting a conversation. “You were the only one without a drink, so I figured I’d ask you first.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. So, what, you don’t like the coffee here, or something?” she inquired as she took a small sip.
“No, I just don’t drink it.”
“Well, they have more than just coffee here, you know? You should try something, some of it’s really good!”
Just then, she handed me her small plastic fold-up menu, as mine was still sitting on the table, underneath my laptop. She wasn’t being weird nor annoying, so I felt obligated to take it.
“The ones with regular names are food items,” she added.
As I looked through and saw things like a three-dollar-cookie; a single cookie, I was pretty content with the free Wi-Fi, so I handed it back.
“My name is Alessia, what’s yours?” she continued.
“Walter,” I said.
“Nice to meet you, Walter. I’ve never seen you here before, but I can imagine why. What brings you here instead of the library? It’s just across the street.”
“A change of scenery,” I said, this time not breaking eye contact from my screen.
“Oh, really? Same here! I know what you mean. Well, I’ve only been coming here for the past few weeks myself. But it’s different from where I’m used to.”
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“Never mind. It’s not important. You might think it’s weird.”
“Why’d you bring it up, then?”
“Okay, well,” she began to hesitate, “I’m not from here.”
“I know, you said th-”
“No,” she interrupted, “I mean, I’m from a different planet.”
I looked up from my computer screen. I distinctly remember her eyes being brown, but for no reason at all, they were green. Maybe it was the coffee. Maybe it was her. Maybe it was just this strange place.
“Nice trick, you did there, but I think I’m going to go now.” I said as I closed my computer and packed it away.
“I’m sorry, did I creep you out?”
“Sure did. Go bug someone else.”
I’m all for making new friends as much as anyone else. I wasn’t going to take the time to figure out if she was playing a joke with me, and I really didn’t care, I just hoped that was my last run-in with that person as I walked out of that place. I mean, people go to libraries too. Surely there would be normal people there. I should know, I’ve been there before.
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