Tall Tales and Short Stories

These are stories about different events in my life. Some are in fiction form due to the age of the writer at the time of the event in relation to the memory of the writer at the time of writing. Age does that sometimes. Enjoy the stories and provide some feedback.

Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas, United States

July 23, 2006

Waiting for a Friend

I sat in the coffee shop, waiting for Marie. A mutual friend mentioned that she was in town and would be stopping by the Sweet Bay coffee shop sometime around three o’clock that afternoon. I had not seen Marie for several months and wanted to catch up on old times.

I arrived around two o’clock and walked in through the patio. The thick caramel aroma, tinged with a slight scent of chocolate, wafted through the warm breeze coming in on the covered patio. Choosing a seat, I placed my notepad and pen on the table and went to the counter to order. The list of coffees available overwhelmed me. Not wanting to appear lacking in hip-ness, I asked the Matthew Broderick look-a-like to make a suggestion.

The patio’s atmosphere was inviting. Top forty music of the eighties and nineties slipped out of the small, well placed speakers lending a light ambiance. The soft tunes created a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the rich flavors of the double caffeine charged coffee. The crowd drifted in and out of the patio, equally divided between business meetings and resting shoppers.

Outside, soft white clouds dotted the bright blue sky, hinting at a warm spring day. Creekmore Park, with its leafless trees and sparse activity, contrasted noticeably with Rogers Avenue and its traffic passing in intermittent patterns. An occasional designer walker, with their colorful outfits of blue, red, or pastel, passed by on the jogging path. They walked in their own little world, pointing to inanimate objects, and talking to themselves.

The conversations of chattering patrons drew my mind back inside the patio. Teenage girls sat in one corner engaged in gift giving with one of their own while three men in another corner tried to top each other with their business exploits. Behind me, someone sat with their computer - the “You’ve Got Mail” alert going off in a regular pattern of every three or four minutes.

A car, out of view from my perch, pulled into the parking lot. The Go-Go’s “We’ve Got the Beat” blared from the radio, just loud enough to drown out the Sweet Bay speakers. A minute later, Marie flamboyantly bounced up the steps in her usual happy-go-lucky sachet.


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