Coffee Shop Serial, Part III

“Mom, he’s totally not here.  I told you this would happen.”

“Whaaat?  He’s not?  What time is it? Something must’ve happened.”

“Mom.  Please.  This isn’t that old movie where the lady crosses the street to meet her guy after like a year and gets hit by a car and never makes it and he wonders why she stood him up.  This is me.  Typical, me.”

“But he seemed so nice when I met him in line.  He had a good job – he was a graphic designer.  No tattoos or anything.  He’s from Des Moines.  And cute.  You’d like him.  Trust me, you would.”

“Well, Des Moines totally stood me up.  Are you happy?  Can I go home now?”

“Aren’t you being a little harsh?  Can’t you give him five minutes?  I mean, do you have something else to do?  I’m sure you do, but can’t you wait a minute?  He’s from Des Moines.”

“Mom, I’ve been waiting thirty-two minutes.  I’m leaving.”

“What are you wearing?  Do you look cute?  You didn’t wear that grey, plaid hoodie, did you?  It’s so awful.  And I hope you’re wearing make-up.  Everyone looks better with make-up.”

Did I really think calling my mom would make me feel better about being stood up?  I’m outa here.  Totally his loss.

My high school friend, Rene, told me to read The Rules.  There’s no way I’m reading that book.  I was a Women’s Studies major.  Doesn’t the Rules lady say you should never accept a date past Wednesday, and you should always wear lipstick when you go jogging?  Most guys I know – yes, I actually know some – would laugh at a girl they saw jogging, wearing lipstick.  Unless she was wearing just a jogging bra, and then they wouldn’t notice her lips.

Take that guy across the street, for instance.  Hipster glasses.  Beige v-neck sweater.  Dark jeans.  He’s obviously showered in the last twelve hours, but he’s not obsessed with his hair.  Do you think that guy would respect a girl who’s jogging down the street, wearing red lipstick?  Wouldn’t he expect her to be serious about her workout and thus wear only Chapstick?  I wonder where he’s going.  Of course he’s petting the black Lab tied to the parking meter.   He’s probably meeting his girlfriend at Peet’s.

I once had this fish teapot.  It was white, with red fins, blue gills and black eyes.  It even had clear bubbles on the spout.  My life is like that teapot – functional, but ridiculous.

When I get home, I’m going jogging.  I haven’t jogged since my fourth grade gym class, when the teacher made us run a lap around the track.  I’ll start out easy – just five minutes – and build up.  I need goals.  No more lame yoga at the corporate fitness center.  It’s time to get serious.  Maybe Des Moines will see me running down the street – not wearing lipstick – and think, damn, she’s hot.  I won’t even see him.  I’ll just cruise by him, with my ponytail bobbing.

And then, after I jog, shower, and eat a perfectly balanced meal, I’ll get in bed early and start reading Moby Dick.  I’ve never read it, but I’m sure I was supposed to at some point.  I’ll knock it out in like a week.  And then I’ll make my way through the rest of the literary canon.

Des Moines has totally done me a favor.

Here lies the end of my Coffee Shop Serial.  What did you think?  Please send me your comments — good, bad and ugly — I’ll take ’em!  Think I’ll change the title to “Des Moines”.


One thought on “Coffee Shop Serial, Part III

  1. Jenny

    Ali, You must continue writing short stories…please! I felt as though I was actually in this little coffee shop with an old friend. Very clever and real. Thank you!


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