The Writer at the Café
She sat at the café, sipping a cappuccino, nonchalantly staring out the window, looking at nothing in particular. Her writerly mind though, registered the little details of the goings-on outside – fodder for a possible story or verse sometime. The beverage wasn’t fabulous by any measure, but she was there for the atmosphere; this place inadvertently, and for reasons not very clear to her, soothed her nerves, calmed her restless mind. The café was more or less empty at that hour. It was four in the evening and barring a group of friends chatting away at a corner table and a family of three in another, there was no one around. Five minutes later, two young men walked in and settled down at the table opposite hers. One of them was tall, lean, had deep brown eyes and dressed casually in a white T-shirt and deep blue jeans. The other was shorter, had a mop of curly black hair, a sharp profile and looked every bit worried. They quickly settled down, ordered something in haste and fell silent. The silence persisted for a few minutes before the tall man held the hands of the other very gently and pressed his fingers. The shorter man sighed and shook his head.
Sitting there as a passive observer, something stirred in her as she watched the scene unfolding in front of her. The gentleness of one and the sadness of the other pierced her soul. A flash of inspiration struck her. She had to write it down somewhere. She hurriedly pulled a pen out of her knapsack. She desperately searched for her notebook. “Damn,” she thought, “I left it behind at my desk!” Quick, she told herself, think of something soon, an alternative, goddammit! And then it struck her! “Excuse me,” she called out to the lady who was on her way to the men’s table with two mugs of hot chocolate. “Excuse me, please! I’m sorry, but could you give me two tissues, please?”
The lady, a little startled, obliged, and handed her couple of them. “Muchas gracias,” she muttered gratefully and in an inspiration-loaded few minutes, scribbled away furiously into the white tissues, the seed for her next book. You see, such is the life of a writer.