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I’m in the midst of a very busy week of comings and goings. In addition to other activities and events, my son will be attending an escape room party in neighboring Pennsylvania. That means nearly a hundred mile trip to a central meetup point, and a return trip on Sunday – so about 400 miles for the weekend.
But that’s tomorrow. Tonight (Thursday, as I type this), is for getting this post written and scheduled. And, to that end...
“Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local 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.
A young commuter has offered her coffee to a poorly dressed man who was watching her.
They Hesitate Like Wild Things
His gaze reaches toward my face, as though to be sure I mean what I say. I gasp, confronted with sharp presence and bright burning intelligence in vivid blue eyes. So much more to him than I could see, from my bench. Suddenly, I want to know all about him, weather and the cogs of my routine be damned.
He pulls his hands out of his coat, slowly. They're still closed tightly, and they hesitate like wild things ready to dart away again at the first hint of danger. They open slowly; his nails are untrimmed and dirty, but, beneath the chapped skin, these are elegant and long-fingered hands – hands that might belong to an artist, or a musician.
But he still doesn't take the mug; his trembling hands hover at the level of his chest, as though he simply can't accept that this gift is for him. The 6:37 whistles; my train, the 6:45, is next. The machinery of my day stutters back into motion.
Will the man take the coffee?
Will it be enough?
Will she catch her train?
Any guesses you’d like to share?
“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.