Cafe Noir

He was sitting in the coffee shop, his third cup of coffee – black, no sugar – getting cold, just like the previous two. He didn’t particularly like the taste of coffee. He didn’t much like coffee shops either, but he figured some sacrifices had to be made – he was going to be a writer.

He took a long drag from his cigarette and narrowed his eyes pensively, like he might be thinking. Then he balanced the cigarette on one of those little grooves in the side of the ashtray, contemplating the smoke as it rose in snake-like ribbons. He liked that, “snake-like ribbons”, pulling out the pencil from behind his ear and jotting it down efficiently in his spiral-bound notebook. He would definitely use that some time, maybe for his novel.

His novel…he hadn’t had the ‘big idea’ yet, but until then, all he had to do was wait, for something – a tall, blonde muse or a tall, brunette heroine, or a tall, redheaded femme fatale, though no freckles. He’d tell her he was a writer and wanted to write about her… chicks liked that stuff right?

He mussed up his hair with one hand, and focused his eyes intensely on the world beyond the window. That was what writers did, they observed the world, they had a particular perspective, they could transmute everyday life into…something else. He had written down some notes, about passers by. One time he’d thought this bum was gonna get his face kicked in by an asshole kid, but the kid had run away – pity, that could have been a good story. Then he saw this woman trip and fall right in the path of an oncoming car, but the car had stopped just in time. Maybe things would pick up.

His bladder was suddenly full from the coffee he hadn’t drunk, so he got up to go to the rest room, checking first that there was nobody interesting in the place to observe. Only the usual guy in the raincoat and dark glasses, who seemed to be there as often as he was.

While he was taking a leak he heard the sound of gunshots coming from the other side of the restroom door. He zipped up, almost too quickly. He thought this just might be his lucky day.