Those who know me, and they are few, know that I am not into selfies. However, I have been asked a few times through social media for a picture.
I wont give in, and instead decided to give you a bit more of a mental visual, a written selfie if you will.
I’ve tried to weave it into a little bit of a story, part true, part fiction, you decide what is what. That’s the beauty of stories, you’re free to visualise and believe it as you please.
You can create your own mental picture of me from the following or you can believe something else, or as I prefer, just a complete blank image of who I am or what I look like.
There’s one bonus, you get a picture of one of my eyes, which is more than too much. The eyes are the window of the soul, you can peer through and decide the way you see fit.
Hope you enjoy the story
Who drinks a double ristretto anyway? The thought didn’t leave her mind, not especially since he just skulled it down like swallowing a pill. He didn’t savour it, didn’t smell it, swirl it in his mouth or do anything else an aficionado would do, which are usually the people who order ristrettos.
What was really irking her was that he didn’t even look up, didn’t acknowledge her eighteen grams of care. She even had the scales out weighing the pour. Timed to perfection, twenty five seconds of gold wine, she watched the mouse tail slither velvety prose into the porcelain cup.
But he didn’t even know she existed. “Fuck him”, she thought under a whisper of her breath. She then wished she had over extracted and made him suffer. She decided she didn’t like the way he looked either. Tall dark men, broad and dominant, he probably is aggressive too. No, she preferred boyish types, Di Caprio with Tannum and a body like Kutcher.
Then he stood up to leave.
“Good”, she thought, “leaves more room for deserving customers.” No sooner had he stood and her angst almost come to an end, he did something which made the room feel like it was full of mirrors. All she could see was her reflection. Every direction, that’s all she saw and she shrank as the milliseconds manifest her.
He picked up his plate and cup and walked them over to the service bench. At that point all the staff were looking at him; even the customers and kitchen helping hands were staring. In this busy cafe, no one gave a shit. They drank, ate and socialised with a sense of entitlement and privilege they had come to fathom that they deserved.
Their four dollar latte warranting them a spoil for the five or thirty minutes they sat to sip and whinge over the most trivial of matters. As if someone pressed a pause button, you could hear a pin drop as the clinging of cup and saucer snapped everyone out of their trance when he put them down.. He looked up and piercingly into her eyes and asked with a warmth that had her blushing both in immediate heat and bashfulness of a young girl who’s been asked for a dance, “Did you make this ristretto?”
She couldn’t even manage an answer but rolling and biting her lips inwards she nodded in the affirmative.
“Well, it was beautiful, thank you”, he said.
Suddenly she lost interest in her boyish fetishes.
She even caught a waft of his Vetiver laden muskiness, the coffee shop ironically being a perfect backdrop to clear the nasal passages and make them far more receptive to fragrances. Still, his stood out of masculine charm and strength. It wasn’t what she was used to, the fruity synthetics younger boys wore that girls secretly wore too. No, he stood out. Why hadn’t she noticed his hazel brown eyes before this? Perfectly shaped like almonds almost semi Euro-Asian.
His shaved head although thinning was also appealing as it blended into his light brown beard which carried small hints of white wisdom flecks scattered throughout. He was also dominantly tall and wide shouldered but despite his physical presence, actually wasn’t threatening, especially when he spoke.
A gentle Middle Eastern charm to his look laced with heavier accents of Caucus Mountain or East European folk. She couldn’t make him out. Maybe that’s why she didn’t really notice him when he hurt her ego. He’s not any one thing in his looks. He’s not Anglo-Saxon looking either, nor easily identifiable as being from any one race.
But when he spoke, educated and refined mannerisms were noticeable in his voice and arbitrary accent slighted with Australian fleck.
Who was this guy that was otherwise unnoticed before that small gesture?
She could hardly get her apron off fast enough to catch him before he walked out on the street and perhaps away from her reach forever.
She didn’t know why but she suddenly felt possessive, she had to speak to him, like it was a done deal and he was already hers. In the space of a few seconds she had rehearsed twenty ways to call out to him, each bettering the previous until instinct took over and she abruptly grabbed him by the shoulder and turned him around as she blurted out, “Hey!”
‘Hey yourself”, he replied with a smile as if to immediately notice her discomfort and regret in approaching him the wrong way.
She then noticed his wide jaw line which wasn’t square and sharp, a little rounder but was the home of a set of perfectly straight teeth and full thick lips.
She knew she was well over her head and needed saving from herself but proceeded anyway. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I just did that, but I want to apologise”.
“Apologise?” He raised an eyebrow.
‘Yeah, umm…. Back there, in the shop… Umm, I… I… ”
“Oh, you mean where you were pulling angry faces whilst waiting for me to look at you? It’s ok, I forgive your ego, haha”, he chuckled.
“How did you know that? ”
” I know myself fairly well. I felt your eyes on me. I saw how your hands turned white from tension and you were pressing buttons and levers on the machine with anger whilst making coffee for others after me, but during my ristretto, you were calm and smooth. I put it down to you being angry after serving me for some reason, but what could I actually anger you about since I only ordered off the other girl, not you, I didn’t say anything to you. I put it down to you taking pride in your work and waiting for acknowledgement so I quickly finished to let you know, just in case all that anger turned other people’s coffee bitter, or worse, you poison someone haha.”
She was in awe and dumb struck at the same time. In those few moments she knew she had never met someone like him and probably never will.
And all it took was that gesture for her to notice him, the one that says I’m not entitled to anything, and even though I just paid for my coffee, you guys aren’t my slaves and I can help your day run a little smoother by carrying my own weight, and thoughtfully complimenting her when he was done.
“Well, I better get going”, he said.
“Wait, what’s your name?”
“Oh, it’s Wes, and yours is Vicky right?”
She gasped… “Yes, but can I see you Wes? I mean not here, I mean elsewhere, ugggh I mean like after work or something?”
“Oh wow, that’s extremely kind of you, and I’m flattered, but I can’t, I’m sorry”.
“Why?” She asked, her ego wanting to rise back up so it could demand her right.
“Umm…. Because I’m married with children, Vicky, but still I’m really humbled to think you’d go to this extreme.”
“Yeah, leave your job to run out here and leave a trail of angry customers as well as your work colleagues wanting to kill you”.
She looked back and noticed the line for service had extended out into the street and her colleagues were trying to motion to her to come back by waving their hands with cross faces.
“Oh shit…. I’m sorry, I have to go, but wait… What? You’re married? No, you’re not… You can’t be, ugggghhhh, wait… We’ll continue this later, you’re not married.. Ugg”…. And she rushed back to the store.
He watched her do a short jog back and customers throwing their hands in the air as if to say ‘finally’, smiled and walked off.
2 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Selfie”
OMG! WOW!! This is so brilliantly written. I was so there… watched the entire encounter unfold. It totally took me to a different dimension. So absolutely lovely. I know exactly what you look like now 😊! It’s great to be able to put a face to a name. Thank you for sharing… For the record, yours is the most beautiful selfie I’ve ever seen!!!! You are so amazing to me.🙏🙏🙏
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Haha, glad you now have a picture Tammi