Thursday, July 30, 2009

02. Taking a Chance.

Trevor sat in the coffee shop and stared at his laptop; the blank screen daunting as if challenging him to a duel that he was without a doubt losing. Every thought he had was immediately deleted with furious taps on the backspace key and to add to Trevor's frustration, the cursor continued to blink at him calm and steady as ever.

This used to be an environment where he flourished, where thoughts were easy to come by, where he wrote his first best selling novel. Trevor loved the dynamic coffee shop atmosphere where hipsters and businessmen, socialites and average joes, stay at home moms and trying too hard teenagers converged for their daily caffeine fix. He thrived on the interaction of people as social spheres collided and life happened. But now the familiar sounds of coffee grinding, milk steaming, keys tapping, and the occasional street noise that disrupted the latest indie rock song were all blending to create a cacophony that was driving Trevor mad. Even the silence was deafening in the packed coffee shop with no one saying but two words to each other.

He had a contract for his next book with a 500 page draft due in three weeks and he had nothing. He was about to give up for the day when he saw an interesting woman walk in the door. She was the first person to catch his attention in a long time but not because she was particularly attractive in anyway and he couldn't quite figure out what it was about her that piqued his interest. Trevor began to close watch her in the same way he was taught to close read books in his English 101 class by paying attention to the particulars rather than the general. He started with her face, but came up with nothing; it seemed to Trevor that her features were ordinary enough so that she wouldn't stand out in a crowd. He critiqued her outfit and decided that while she was dressed well, it was nothing special compared to all the other fashionists in the city. Then he pondered on her vibe and noticed something familiar: just like the hundreds of women he saw everyday, she held herself with a misplaced confidence, almost as if to tell the world that she was a force to be reckoned with and could be if only she believed that herself. She could be anyone and no one, so why did he notice her?

Trevor continued to watch as she casually twisted her long brownish hair that cascaded down her back almost consuming her tiny frame. She occasionally glanced over her shoulder like she was looking for someone but he doubted she was meeting anyone; she looked like a loner, like someone who was always alone, although not entirely comfortable with it. He imagined her going home every night to an empty apartment with only her cat to talk to for the rest of the evening. She probably ate from the same Chinese take out restaurant, had her routine of nightly shows to watch, and went to bed longing for something to happen with the coming day. Then he realized that the loner he saw in her was a reflection of himself. He was tired of his mundane, day to day life and the pressure to create by a deadline. He longed for something to happen, something to change. Trevor still eyed her as she made her way to the front of the line and ordered. She fidgeted with the zipper on her wallet as she waited for the barista to take her money as if she was in a rush and needed to be somewhere important, but Trevor knew that wasn't true. Yet, when the time came, she seemed nervous and caught off guard as she fumbled with her cash and double and triple counted her bills.

This girl fascinated Trevor and he watched as she asked another patron if a seat was taken, then sat down and opened her pink Juicy Couture messenger bag and pulled out a sleek paper thin Air Macbook. Trevor let out a sigh of relief that she was a Mac girl and gazed at her as she opened her computer and started browsing the Internet. After a couple of minutes, it looked like she found was she was searching for as her eyes darted back and forth across the screen. He hoped he didn't come across as stockerish as he unabashedly stared at her, but when she finally looked up and caught his eye, he smiled at her and he thought he noticed a spark of interest flash across her face. Trevor took that as a good sign and suddenly felt a strong need to talk to her, every day he waited for something to happen and was starting to realize that things wouldn't happen until he made them happen. He summoned all his courage, packed his bag, and walked over to her, asking, "seat taken?"


M.J. said...

Yay! So you are continuing it....well, I guess beginning it is what you are really doing. Nice character development.

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