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I wrapped up “A Splash of Red,” last week, so it’s time to move along. This week, I bring you a brand new project! I’m sharing my second published story, which will also be self-published, hopefully in 2017.
“Monday Morning Coffee” is both similar and very unlike “Splash.” It’s not as autobiographical, but it is a story that’s been with me longer than my oldest child has. It began, in its earliest form, when I was only sixteen, and there was a compelling news story that fired my sense of empathy and imagination, together. A teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.
From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.I’m not quite sure how to classify this story; any ideas and impressions you have, I’d love to hear!
Five Hundred and Thirty-Seven Mornings
Squeezing onto the edge of the bench furthest from the track, I'm glad for my warm, blanket-like cloak that makes the metal and the cold air tolerable, if not comfortable. Another winter morning where I spurn the warmth of my bed to face the emptiness of my tiny little office, and my solitary work. I juggle my oversized purse and my latte in its lidded plastic mug as I try to settle next to a woman whose stiff body language says that she doesn't want me here.
Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings I've ordered the same large caramel hazelnut double-shot soymilk latte from a chain of apathetic coffee-shop girls, interchangeable links with only appearance distinguishing one from another. My mind muzzily plays with images of coffee beans and the daily grind while I watch the writhing mass of humanity, all seeking warmth, but not connection. Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings, now, I've come to this plastic-walled little shelter, carrying the same cheap blue plastic travel mug to await my train.
It's painful, almost, this combination of random touch and absence, the shuffling and low-grade babbling that says nothing. Body brushes against body; no real contact is made.
What will morning #537 bring?
Who is this woman?
What does she do?
Are you interested in her story?
Come back next week and learn more!
“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.
One last thing before I go - throughout this post, there are three Cooper's hawk portraits - all candidates for the cover of "A Splash of Red." If you've got a favorite, don't hesitate to say so; it might help me decide!
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