Carefully unkempt twenty somethings with guitars standing next to bright red and blue boxes; another new indie band promoting cheerful nihilism. Methodically flipping through the pages once every two minutes, I thought to myself about what a creep I was being.

From the corner of my eye I watched her purse her lips to hum a tune; Damien Rice. What is it about a girl humming Damien Rice that never fails to arouse? Standing at the counter, she seemed oblivious to the evening commotion, a disposition that I was drawn to. The pretense of seeming interested in the stacks of music and pop culture journals was wearing thin. It was only a matter of time before someone at the counter realized I was not actually going to buy anything.

As I tried forming sentences from a random array of words in my head, he walked in. Quite an entrance, even turned a few heads in the process. I grinned not giving the slightest hint of displeasure and proceeded to return his rather enthusiastic wave. It was hard pretending to listen to him go on and on about coming to pick someone up. Or something. I managed to shrug, sigh and nod wherever necessary. Tilting my head ever so slightly towards the counter, I watched her tip over a can of coffee beans. Our eyes met and she gave one of those embarrassed smiles; I smiled back. I think. She exclaimed, ‘Best day ever’ to someone else at the counter.

I touched his shoulder politely stopping him mid sentence and managed a hurried goodbye. Too much pressure; I had to leave. Maybe another day. Nevertheless, I surprised myself by making a detour to the counter. She looked up and for about two seconds, I had nothing to say. Then, ‘I’ll have a orange juice.’ Fuck. An orange juice. An orange juice.

She smiled, one I’m assuming they taught her when she signed up for work. ‘That’ll be two fifty’. A false sense of confidence rushed over me by the time I reached into my purse, ‘You spilled a can of coffee beans, didn’t you?’ Way to go. That was as smooth as any opening line.

‘Yeah…I tried forcing the lid open and the entire thing just came off’, she was still smiling.

‘You come in on weekends huh?’

‘Mondays and Tuesdays, mornings and then weekends…wait…how do you know when I come in?’

‘No I just see you on…relax I’m not stalking or anything’. Exit false sense of confidence.

She grinned like a school girl. We had nothing to say to each other. She handed me the orange juice, ‘Thank you! You have a good night.’

‘Sure…you too.’

Making my way out, I couldn’t help but smile. Five weeks and so much progress. Glancing back for the last time, I watched him give her a peck on the cheek. She smiled. Not the one she gave me. Happier.


20 Responses to “Latency”

  1. Invaded by the fairer sex, eh? I get this feeling that all ur recent posts concern directly/indirectly/tangentially/meanderingly/whatever-else them. Is there something actually to cheer about?? Or is it just another false alarm like last time??

    N.B. : I saw the Fiction tag.

  2. I like it. I will send it to my cleaning lady as an application for you. 😛

  3. :-S Ok, I am worried. Dude, we need to talk :-P!

    Sounds like an awesome gal, but then again, fact/fiction, yet to be seen and really, can’t wait :-D!

  4. 4 Swen

    Well it falls under category fiction. So I assume its not true.

    But then again Orange Juice. That sounds like you alright

    This is the guy whose best conversation opener is “Can you drink milk shake with a straw through your nose” > or something like that .

  5. Well done, dude, with some really nice touches (“carefully unkempt”) . “An orange juice” captures the mindset of the guy perfectly. 🙂

  6. @indisch As much as I’d like to tell you I’m getting married (again), I’m not. 🙂 I really didn’t notice myself giving indirect hints through the last few posts; I assure you they were unintentional.

    @kalafudra I’m going to take you up on that offer.

    @Guru Um…dude…chill…the lines between fact and fiction aren’t as blurred as you think. The line exists! 🙂

    @Swen Thank you for letting the world know of my social awkwardness. And how in plu perfect hell does Orange Juice sound like me? 😐

    @BPSK Thank you…coming from a brilliant writer like you, I take that as a compliment. Or pity. 🙂

  7. Don’t worry about the social awkwardness thing. As a woman, I can tell you two things:
    1. Social awkwardness can be really, really cute (if it’s only awkwardness and not incapability)
    2. Bad pick up lines are mostly better than no pick up lines at all (steer clear of those, though: Especially when you want to pick up someone like me who couldn’t talk to a guy she likes because she’s much to shy.

  8. 8 eternallyjinxed

    how people can write more than 3 paras is beyond me! Anyway nice work!

  9. 9 Ravenent

    Dude, it has to be said – you’re worse than Robert Neville trying to pick up the mannequin at the video store! 😉

  10. @kalafudra Holy Moly! Have you considered writing a book? Millions of men could use something remotely resembling advice! 🙂

    @eternallyjinxed Well, helps if you’re bored. and thank you…

    @Ravenent Dude…contrary to what you may think, I *am* quite the smooth operator. 🙂 I’m allowed to make leaps of logic for fiction right?

  11. 11 Charl

    Okay I was about comment that social awkwardness can be very very charming after reading your comment and then I see that kalafudra has gone and done the needful!

    Also, loved the climax in your latest bout of “fiction.” Five weeks and so much progress. Awww.

  12. @Charl Well…I’m not *that* socially awkward.

    I see that you don’t buy the fact that all this was fiction, do you? 😐

  13. I’ve been writing books ever since I could write though unfortunately, I hardly ever finish one. But if I never succeed in writing a novel, then I will write advice for men and women. Probably under the name of Dr. Knowsitall. 🙂

  14. @ kalafudra: Why are you raising the hopes of this poor socially averse guy? Why, but why? :-P!

    Btw, cuteness doesn’t necessarily translate to, “I will go out with you, does it?”

  15. @Guru: Because I’m a sadistic bitch who likes to see men get their hopes up to crush them :P.

    I meant everything I said and no, cuteness doesn’t necessarily mean a date but it really, *really* raises the chances [without wanting to sound superficial, when I don’t know a person, I judge what I can see which is looks and first behaviour :)].

  16. @Guru and Kalafudra: Guys..please, mesa not socially awkward. Plus Kalafudra, I don’t see the point in being cute if you’re going home alone anyway. 😛

  17. well said, presti, well said…

  18. @Presti: If someone didn’t mention the fiction tag I would’ve gone on to say that was one of the best cheap sit com scenes ever. 😛

  19. 19 noconvolutions

    Intuition says something is fishy.You better kill the fish.Don’t forget we’re marrying this weekend 🙂

  20. @nocon Relax…the weddings still on. 😐

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