One coffee please, black, but with sugar on the side.
I check into a Barista Café. I switch on the computer. Or get the pencil and papers out of the bag. The coffee arrives. I empty the sugar sachet and stir it. It is an intuitive activity – stirring sugar. The mind is blank and the action stirs memories or dreams. Both hold the possibility of a story, memories more than dreams because dreams are in monotone; whatever happens they usually end in ‘happily ever after’. However desirable that is, this ‘happily ever after’ business, it comes with the precondition of being repetitive. These open-eyed dreams take only happy roads and pass through dark alleys with their eyes shut.
I pick up the cup of coffee, take a sip and look at the world outside the window. Mothers walk children to school, traffic flows, halts, flows again, cars honk, teenagers hold hands, crows swoop down in impossible arcs, male pigeons mutter and go around themselves in frenzy, men look at women, women look at women, a peanut vendor blows on a bowl of coals in his basket, an old man stands confused on the pavement with a piece of address in his hand, a dog attacks a flea, bites itself instead and goes back to sleep.
I don't find a story everyday. Sometimes I find only hurt. Or regret. And on rare occasions, a smile. On the days when I find one, I open a back drawer and put it away for some other morning in the café. I reach the bottom of the cup, drag my eyes back to the laptop screen and I double click on a folder called, ‘Work’.