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Irish Coffee

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posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 09:04 PM
This is my first free writing that I have done in months, decided to pick it up again in this forum. This (very) short story is written around the last phrase, an internal mantra that kept cropping up in my head for a while now. Hopefully writing this will get it out of there

A bewildering array of beverages lay exposed before me. Silver cans, boxes of beer, and bottles ranging from amber to green and blue. It’s disgusting. Take off all the labels, drink it from a cup, and it all tasted the same. I move to the next cooler, where a small black bottle catches my eye. Whisky.

My hand reaches for the handle, and I stop. My fingers feel numb, tingling as they wrap around and pull back the glass door. The bottle is in my hand and I'm walking down the aisle. Jams, jellies, noodle packets, and assorted dry goods mass by my periphery and it doesn't matter to me at all. Nothing matters to me right now. It's some morning of some month. I can't remember where I woke up, however many hours ago.

Again, with these choices. Dark Arabica, Classic Roast, Breakfast Blend, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Christ. I just don't get it. Whatever pours into my cup is dark and nutty. The thermos is shiny and black, with a colorful label depicting a New England farm. There's a cappuccino machine to the left of the stand, full of sugary, premixed crap. It's things like this that really make you question it all. Pouring into my cup, the black drink reflects the fluorescent lighting above. The reflection is warping and distorting the image as coffee bounces from edge to edge, vainly fighting for escape. I can't help but stare into it. My eyes are fixated, and my stomach gurgles and churns. I don't know why.

It could be guilt. Hell knows I need to feel guilty for the things I've done. More than likely, I drank way too much. Maybe I'm sick. The weather's been bad for weeks now. I'm sure to catch something. It's probably a combination of things. Everything that's happened has coalesced and solidified in my stomach, some negative energy creating a dark and empty rift in my chest.

Walking towards the cashier, I catch myself. Thoughts like that are the reason I think I'm crazy. Nobody thinks like that, nobody reads into these little things as much as I do. It's just not normal. I'm at the cashier. Play it cool. Some 30-something in a dead end job. I wonder if he's seen Clerks. I put the liquor and coffee on the counter. It's easier to pay attention to my goods than the gizmos off to the side. Key chains, bags, chocolates, watched, lottery tickets, chap stick. It's no wonder I jump when he says something.

"Will that be all?"


The cashier doesn't change his expression. It's early morning, it's raining out, and he is stuck at this same job. The bags under his eyes tell the tale. He is sallow, sunken, worse than me. What dreams did he have? What did he want to do wit his life? Go to college? How did he end up here? What is stringing him along, providing him with enough energy to sit at this desk, day in and day out? Is this the American Dream? The American Dream nothing more than a dream, a far off hope that some day, some how, things will be better. The American Dream is cold, tired, and sunken.

"That'll be Eight Seventy"

Great. I don't even have my wallet out. My hands move far too slowly. It's taking minutes, hours, and he's just staring at me, expectantly. I fumble through the cash. One, One, One, Five, Five, Ten. I pull out the two fives and place them in his hand. They're folded over, a state he remedies before placing them in the register. I hold out my hand, and he places the change in my palm, topped off by the change. Nice Form.

"Have a good one"

I mumble something to him as I walk away. The rain is splashing up against the glass door. Something in my mind triggers.

Do you realize that falling rain makes the same sound as a sizzling steak?

Voices from my past, someone’s past, keep popping up on me. I step outside, and move under the canopy of the next shop over. I pop the cap on my coffee, and pour in some liquid ambition. A few sips later, and my stomach settles down. I draw my coat close to keep out the chill. I don't really mind the chill, or the rain. It's nice. The only people on the streets are the ones that have to be there, and I don't mind them. I never have to be anywhere, but I can still stand the rain. When life is at its worst point, the best you could hope for is rain. The cold shocks, the loss of dignity. It's a veritable confrontation of nature and man. Cold rain will bring you down to reality; bring you back to the moment. Nothing else matters when you are out in the rain. Why should it? You're soaking wet, you're cold, and you can't get much worse. Debts, girlfriends, broken promises, damage done, none of it matters. In the rain, you are human. Being caught in the rain is an unapologetic reminder that you are alive. When you feel the rain, you know that you are alive.

I loosen my coat a bit, and step out into the morning.

[edit on 4-6-2006 by TheGoodDoctorFunk]

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