Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Conversations

I'm going to start posting some of the conversations that my mind randomly creates to entertain itself. I should've been doing this all along, as it's something that happens every day, several times a day. I daydream conversations, with random people. The reason I haven't is usually laziness; the conversations take a few minutes, but writing them out could take hours. So I'll not worry so much about it. they're not really stories, just snippets of conversations I make up in my head. This one started because I was frustrated with my backpack because it wouldn't stand up nice for me while I enjoyed a rare treat of a coffee, by myself, in a cafe. Understand it's had minimal editing.

Coffee Conundrums...

Roger enjoyed his Sunday mornings. He worked hard all week and Sunday was his day to relax, not think about strategy or deadlines, and just absorb the world. His favourite place to relax is in a small café in the theatre district. It was never too busy, played a nice mix of classical or jazz music and had a very buxom brunette who stood behind the counter.

Roger would come in at opening time with a couple of Sunday newspapers and read every page. He drinks cup after cup of coffee and occasionally treats himself to a pastry. It's important to commandeer the table in the far right corner, as it's not too close to the door, the counter or the toilets. Strategically it's the table that ensures the least amount of contact with any other member of the public who may also come into the café today.

It was eleven thirty and he'd finished reading the headlines and political articles n the newspapers, and was about to move onto the arts and entertainment sections with all the magazines and television listings. He didn't watch television often but it was still nice to look out for a decent documentary.

He'd just sat down with his third mocha and a fruit scone when he heard the bell ring on the front door to say someone had just come in. The noise continued with a rustling of many plastic bags and the heavy breathed conversation of a woman speaking loudly into her mobile phone. She stumbled into the cafe, off balance from her shopping bags and large pink backpack. She quick looked around and chose a table near Roger, to his left.

Roger sighed and flicked his paper up to obstruct his view of the woman, but he could still hear her.

“I'm having a nice morning and I'm sitting down for a coffee so don't preach to me about the kids missing me. I'm with them all week, you only have to watch them for a couple hours.” she said into her phone, while unwinding bag handles that had been strung on her arm up to her elbows. “Do you think they're missing me because they're having such a miserable time with you...well then why? You know what – I don't care. You deal with it. They're your kids too, so trying remembering what fun was like ok. I'm having a coffee, a sit down and one more hour of peace, ok? Well, good. Bye then.”

A corner of Roger's paper flopped over and afforded him a view of the woman. She was still making noise and m uttering to her backpacks, which didn't seem to want to stand up on their own, but fall over into the walkway. She turned them left, turned them right, leaned them against the tablebase and then with a curse she gave the bags the finger, kicked them and let them fall under her seat where she then used them as a footstool. Roger tried to flick the paper back up but it kept falling back down. He heard her order a black coffee and a cinnamon bun. It certainly wouldn't take her an hour to finish that.

“Excuse me?” he heard her say. “Uhm, excuse me, are you finished with this newspaper?”

When Roger looked up to see who she was talking to now, he saw her standing in front of him. “What?” he said.

“Are you finished with this newspaper, I'd like to read it.”

“Sorry, it's my paper. I'll be taking it with me.” he replied.

“Oh, sorry. I though they were the café's. Sorry to bother you.” and she walked back to her table and began typing away on her phone.

Roger returned to his reading and tried to block out her disturbance to resume his calm, Sunday morning. A few more people came into the café, and Roger realised the lunchtime rush was starting. He was well entrenched at his table and wouldn't have to suffer too much interruption from others.

“Excuse me, again.” He heard her voice and his shoulders dropped. He looked up from his paper,

“Yes?”

“Would you mind watching my bags while I go use the bathroom?” she asked, already getting up from her chair and collecting one of her backpacks, but leaving the large pink one and all of her shopping bags.

“I'm sorry, I don't feel comfortable doing that. No.” he answered and went back to his paper.

“I'm not going to be long, I just need a pee. I don't want to drag all of this into the toilet with me and I don't want to lose my table – so do me a favour and watch my stuff for me, please?” she explained quickly and looked up at him once she was ready to go.

“I'm not comfortable being made responsible for your belongings. You should take them with you or hold it until you get home.”

“Are you serious? You won't watch my bags foe me, not even for three minutes? Are you leaving soon?” She put her hands on her hips and scowled at him.

“No,” he answered and returned his gaze to the paper in front of him.

“Then what's the problem, it's unlikely anyone will try to steal something but just in case, if anyone does touch my bags just shout at them or something. You seem able to speak at least.” Her hands spun about in the air accenting every word she spoke, and then rested on her hips again.

“I'm not watching your bags for you.” Roger answered, not even bothering to look at the ridiculous woman this time.

“Well, I think you are. You see this pink bag, it has my daughter's asthma and allergy medicine in it. If that gets stolen, and she has a reaction – I've got nothing to help her. She could die. And you'd have to live with that because you couldn't be bothered to watch my bag so I could go for a pee.”

“If it's so important why isn't the bag with the child now? Why do you have it with you? Just take the bag with you and stop begging strangers to be your security guards. It's your responsibility to watch your bags, not mine.” he said with clipped assuredness and managed to flick his paper perfectly upright, and blocked her from his view.

“I'm taking this one with me, it has all my money and cards in it – just watch the rest of them...” she continued but he interrupted her, tired of this tedious conversation, “I will not watch your bags. It is completely inappropriate to ask me to do so, to instil guilt for not wanting to guard your belongings is highly manipulative and uncouth. You asked me and I declined. Please desist from speaking to me any further!”

“Yes, you're right,” she said slowly, “But I'm not dragging all these bags into the cubicle with me. I am going for a piss whether you 'guard my belongings' or not. If you let someone steal my bag then it's on your concious. I've already explained it's importance.” she said, and walked off towards the Ladies' room.

Roger, dropped his paper to the table and stared at her as she walked away. He couldn't believe she'd gone and expected him to look after her bags. Well, he decided, he wasn't going to look after her bags – let them be stolen. He didn't care. Not his problem.

He went to sip from his coffee but it had gone cold. Damn her! He was enjoying his quiet Sunday routine and who the hell was she to come in and disrupt it all. Loud mouthed, rude and stupid. She deserves to have her bag stolen. She deserves to be taught a lesson in self-reliance and not trust strangers to guard her things. Hell, what makes her think he wouldn't steal them!

Well now, there was thought. And no sooner had it popped into his head then he was getting up from his table, rolling up all his papers and walking over to her collection of shopping and stuffed them into the nearest bag. He gathered up the bags, and grabbed the heavy pink backpack and was ready to walk out, but he stopped. No he couldn't keep the pink backpack it is wrong to steal a child's medicine.

He looked around and saw the brunette employee, “Excuse me, would you be able to keep this bag behind the counter for a few minutes. The owner is in the toilets.”

“Oh, uhm,” she thought for a moment, then shrugged, “Sure.”

“Thank you very much. See you next weekend!” and he handed the bag to her over the counter, thanked her again and then left the shop as fast as he could with the rest of the shopping bags.

5 comments:

Michael said...

Three words...Multiple Personality Disorder.

;-)

Lyvvie said...

It's not a disorder. It's a cure for loneliness. Bright side Mike - there's always a Bright Side!

Unless you're being cryptic about my grammar...

Maja said...

Ha! Very entertaining story :)

Michael said...

I couldn't be cryptic if I tried. I'm a simple man who speaks plainly. No airy-fairy pretentious nonsense for this straight-talking Lancastrian.

Dctraxe said...

Great Story! very engaging
This guy is so lucky I did not see him leaving with her bags.. His newspaper would have been up his ass.
I loved her persistence in the face of rejection. It really does not take much to be nice. I'll bet he was French!