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July 16th, 2006

The Man, His Coffee and Her Eyes

The man sits at a lone table outside, his back turned against you, legs crossed.  He periodically raises a cup of coffee to his lips. The legs of his chair are firmly planted in the ground, as if rooted in the Earth ages ago, although only rusted from ages of sitting outside.  He sits there aware, not reading or talking to anyone, as if waiting for someone.  The wind picks up so he raises his head to feel the breeze against his face.  His chest breaths in the next summer rain.  He can smell its arrival.

The cup moves up to dress his lips again as the man's neck gulps down the lukewarm coffee, bitter coffee poured from yesterday's brew and restless from the confines of his cup.  He sets the cup down, leans his shoulders back in the chair, and crosses his arms, perhaps chilled by the breeze.  He is ready.  You watch his head swivel about his slender neck, like an owl seeing something in its forest.  It keeps turning until you see the edge of his eye, his eyelashes backlit by the evening sun.  He senses you staring at him; the butterflies in your stomach flutter.  He pushes his eye to the edge of its periphery, stretching so he can glimpse whose watching.  There, at the edge of sight, you see each other. 

His eye quickly slips away, up towards the darkening sky, and he turns his head back to feel the breeze against his face.  The man shifts restlessly in his chair and crosses the other leg.  You watch him slowly stretch his arm across the table, embracing the cold cup, but he lets his arm lie limb on the table.  So he sits, tired of the stale coffee; tired of waiting.  You give up your gaze and see the girl sitting across from you with her own cup, steam rolling off its coffee.  Frustration floods her eyes as she asks where you have been.