. Anyone who has spent any amount of time there can
attest it has a certain variable charm to it. Different times of the
day, it's different things. Morning, it's full of coffee guzzlers and
donut junkies, aching for a fresh glazed or plump creme-filled
. Afternoon, it's people beating the lunch rush, finding a
soft, slow spot to relax and eat. Evenings, the coffee shop mistique
rises to the top amongst all other sensations -- the beatnik
hippies, the freaks and weirdos, and everything that brings Columbus
alive sits down and talks.
hear stories about records being released, bands playing, the goth
scene, a party gone awry somewhere on 17th. Philosophy, pop culture,
retrofuturism. Indie labels, bar
s, and the depravity of the human
soul. Not a bad place.
We all have places
that we reserve as our seats, it seems. You can come in, and
sits by the windows, Jeff
around behind the counter, emptying trash cans even though he doesn't
work here. I
sit by the coffee machines, able to see the
entire shop just by glancing overtop my laptop. But it's not the loud
I watch for, it's the quiet. And quiet she was.
It wasn't the
first time I'd seen her. I knew her in name, at least. Friend of friends
was the connection. She didn't, doesn't,
know it, but I've watched her before, seen her
. I've spent a year having my eyes find her
everywhere. Never intentional, never with pattern, but there she was
at the corners of my eyes. Accidental stalking, I've come to call it.
seat is at the corner of the window, by the wall, away from the door.
She sits there, sipping her -- sipping is the wrong word. Pretty girls
sip, girls in petticoats and skirts and hair clips. She gulps
her coffee, inbetween flurried movements of her
pen. I glance at her work. It is a mix of images, text. Her art is
stylized, sharp lines and sharper attitude carried in pencil and ink of
men who are cats who are men who are cats who are women, dark
frightening images rent of nightmares, rent of the soul.
beret lies on bandana, long hair tucked up beneath -- a lie she kept
until she let it down later that night. Glasses, not orange and Lennon
-esque as she often wears. Her fangs
too, do not grace her visage this night. Her outfit? Black, a vest
over a shirt; around her neck is a stamped pendant of Anubis
. I cannot recall, being too busy listening to her words,
seeing her face. Obsession in a coffee mug.
I sat in my spot,
she in hers. Anxious, I find myself becoming, there. I am no good at
beginning a conversation, though once one begins it is difficult to get
me to stop. So I sat and watched and waited for confidence to flow
within me. I found it in the chaos
I always do -- the
first reply I got after asking my friends "Should I, or should I not?"
with no context was that I should. So I
She was filling out job applications, muttering to
herself. The pickup line in this situation, if there was one at all,
was "If you're going to mutter to yourself, I'm at least going to move
close enough to hear." I think it went over well.
talking about God and religion, mass of the opiates kinda
stuff. We debated, as long friends or philosophers are wont to do, and
we came to no conclusions in the same manner. The conversation
migrated, turned to RP.
She's a writer, I
discover. Mostly fiction, using personifications of aspects of herself
as characters. She's trying to figure herself out from the outside
looking in. And she is so pretty. We talk, I offer to involve her
in the RP group I run, and she expressed her interest. After four
hours of sitting beside the lake, we move on to her
She has just moved in to a nice one-room flat near
south campus. We talk, more still, onward into the wee hours of the
moning. We read each other's writings, we talk of
sexuality and gender, of fiction
and fantasy, of religion and athiesm. Eventually, she
retires to her bedroom, I to the floor. Sleep is had.
at noon or so, and read until four, when I awake her. Our escapade
ends, quickly and sharply and quietly as it started. But I cannot get her out of my
mind, my heart, my body and soul.
Running up the stairs to my
room, I am lethargic. But suddenly I realize, she is a
muse, a Calliope entering my life with her belches and yawns and
boyhood and everything that she could do and does. Does she know it?
Will she, yet? She gives me the drive, but she gives me sloth as
well. Ache deep within my gut, like a numb, thick hollow carved out of
I have felt this before; moments of obession and
dispair. Of what I always felt was love. I wonder if I was right back
then, or just jaded and desiring something I didn't have, aching for
adoration. I believe in love at first sight, but I cannot get her out
of my head. She kept me from sleeping, she kept me from waking. I
give her such power without her knowing.
I didn't even get her fucking phone number.