Before I begin, am I the only one who thinks the music selection in Starbucks is often just short of awful?
As you may have gathered, I'm at Starbucks right now, enjoying the alone time that my husband gives me every Monday and Tuesday night that we don't have Bible study. I was working on my novel, but I'm currently inserting a pivotal chapter with plot points that didn't used to exist (don't ask me how that works - this is my first novel, after all), and it's proving arduous. Therefore, I am taking a blogging break.
I have a certain chair that I like to sit in - it's located as far from the main seating area as possible. In fact, it's in a corner beside the restrooms, just across from the dessert display case (which, on a side note, means I salivate like a Pavlovian dog the entire time I'm sitting there).
A youngish man with a head of thick black curls, carrying a battered brown book (a Bible? a novel?) has occupied said chair, however. He is accompanied by a man of similar years, tall and athletically built. The Athlete's obvious nervousness around Curly-Hair looks downright humorous on his person. I wonder what their relationship is. Is Curly-Hair a new tutor or mentor? Is he an employer? Regardless, he and The Athlete are in my chair, so I'm left sitting beside the man who keeps commenting on my feet.
Yes, my feet. I suppose my first mistake was proffering a friendly smile as I sat down beside him.
"Can I put this here?" I asked, gesturing my purse at a spot on the table between us.
He pushed his glasses up on greying sideburns and smiled back. "Sure. Do whatever you want." A pause. "Cute boots."
"Thanks," I replied, feeling a bit self-conscious. Quickly, I unfolded my laptop and began to type, not wanting to leave the conversation open while I waited for my iced mocha.
Minutes passed without event. I retrieved my drink when it was called and continued tapping away on the computer.
A fly landed on the top of my screen, creeping across it like a high-wire. I shooed it away irritably. All of a sudden, the man beside me let out a guffaw. I sensed him looking at me, so I turned to him, baffled at why he was laughing.
His belly bounced as he laughed and pointed at my boots. "It's funny that your feet don't touch the ground."
I'm used to such comments. I'm sure - hopeful, anyway - that my grin was good-humored rather than longsuffering. "Yeah, it's always like this for me, so I don't even notice anymore. I'm much more surprised when my feet do touch the ground."
The green plaid across his bulk continued to heave as he laughed. Lips compressed, I turned back to my writing, wondering what he'd say next.
He didn't say anything else, but he did attempt to catch a fly that landed on his arm with an exaggerated sigh. When I looked over to see if he had caught the fly, he noticed me looking, and rubbed his hand together over the floor as if to drop the fly's remains. Only, nothing fell out.
In retrospect, perhaps I should've taken the fly opening to make a comment on his feet.
Update: I think Mr. Comments-On-My-Feet actually did get the fly! As I got up to leave I saw a dead fly on the ground right beside him!