I just want you to know I disassembled an (apparently) unnecessary portion of my car with a borrowed wrench set, two multi-tools, and some expert parking over a small ditch. Dirty hands and all, I marched down the hallway to ask the owner of the borrowed wrench set if: 1. this (the one I was carrying) plastic part is necessary 2. the oily residue is important 3. I should do anything with it - like keep it or sew it back on.
The laughter was too much - the whole thing was ridiculous enough to be hilarious and so I laughed until tears came out my eyes.
I have very little time, but I wanted to do a little bit of creative writing. Since I am making the rules about what it means for me to write every day, I'm saying it's okay to revisit pieces from days past and expand. So, we're back to the man who skipped breakfast.
Previously on "a story of a man who skipped breakfast"
He chose a table by the window, but nestled next to a book shelf filled with classics and comics - a strange combination, he thought. Without warning, the aproned girl set herself down across from the man and asked where he was walking from.
That morning, the man skipped breakfast.
The firm swish of her skirt as she sat startled the man and he couldn't process her question. Though he was seated, he couldn't manage to remove his lint-laden hands from his pockets, which made him look rather hunched over and awkward. It also, however, appeared that he was leaning in to listen to the aproned girl's words. Whether intentional or no, she took the hint as friendship and asked once again,
"So, where are you walking from?"
The wrinkled flannel shifted and the man brought his pale green gaze in line with the aproned girl's greys.
"I started this morning from my apartment on East 52nd." It occurred to the man that this was a strange question even for typical social encounters. Maybe it was its oddity that kept him seated in the cafe window, next to the bookshelf filled with classics and comics.
"Oh. I like your shirt," she said, "My name is Amber."
"I like my shirt too," he fidgeted and let his eyes fall to the empty table.
"Well, are you going to order or what?"
"I think I'll choose the 'or what' option," The man said whimsically, allowing his hands to venture from their hiding places to rest on the table's top and smooth the surfaces of the placemat.
"Okay, then." She said it like a the phrase of a folk song, building up to, "You know what's funny about this place?" Her eyes flitted from the flannel to the glass counters and back again, "the memories are like tippy-toes."
The man chuckled through his nose and then something barely audible escaped resembling soft laughter. His shoulders relaxed a bit and he allowed himself to study the strange, aproned girl named Amber who had memories like tippy-toes. An untrained smile split his lips and he expected her to squirm beneath his stare. She didn't. She caught one of the wild wisps of her hair, twisted it in her fingers and magically hid it into the auburn mass.
"Every day around 11 am, my mom would put down her pen and say, 'Well, I could use some fresh air' and just like that we were in golashes or sandals or winter boots (whatever the weather demanded or fit our fancy) and out the front door. Thirty minutes later we would show up here, at Café Sueno. My mom would also think and purse her lips together before ordering the orange cinnamon scone with English Breakfast tea. I would ponder in similar fashion and end up always with a peanut long john doughnut and a whipped-cream topped hot chocolate."
The man waited for Amber to continue, picturing her and her mother sipping drinks and munching at 11:30 every day.
"I was 5 years old and I waited all morning for those words, 'Well, I could use some fresh air.' When they came, it took all my five-year-old strength to not burst with excitement. So, I managed to keep my composure from the waist up (or at least I thought so), but for the entire walk my excitement seeped through to my toes and there I bounced until we'd ordered and sat down at that table right over there." Amber nodded her head toward another table right next to the window. "Tippy-toe memories." The words were lethargic and thick and sweet rolling out.
The man's smile was no longer awkward, but had made a kind of home between the creases of his cheeks. He thought about the rhythm of the world for this five-year-old and almost snuggled in to the sound of it.
This is day FOUR of the Every Day in May Project, where I am writing every single day creatively.
Do you have an Every Day in May challenge?