Coffee Klatch for Two

Game of Thrones tonight! Rewatching the premiere episode on HBO Go while I work on this blog post.

Ah, the joys of modern technology. 🙂

I really, really like The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction. Why? Because the prompts are written in such a way that you can’t help but come up with something to write about. Here’s a sampling of some of the prompts:

  • After one too many Cosmos, you vow to your two best friends that you’ll ask out the next guy who walks by.

  • “Sixteen years, gone to hell.”

  • “Heads, we get married. Tails, we break up. How’s that?”

  • After a violent thunderstorm, a man finds a rain-soaked diary among the debris in his yard.”

I find myself itching to work on all four of those writing prompts. How about you?

I chose the following prompt this morning:

  • “He makes me laugh. Most days, that’s enough.”

Here’s what I came up with for my 10-minute timed writing. I call it Coffee Klatch for Two (a singularly remarkably crappy title, but, I had to come up with something.)

coffee, coffee shop, coffee klatch“He makes me laugh. Most days, that’s enough.”

I put down my cup of coffee and stared across the table at Marcia. Although five years had passed since I’d last seen her, she hadn’t changed all that much.

She still had those thick, heavy dark brows that were so long they almost formed a uni-brow. Her eyes were the same olive-oil green with the mustard yellow around the iris, and her hair was the same walnut brown with the streaks of red that glimmered in the strands whenever the right light hit it.

Same old Marcia, I thought. But not the same. There were lines around her mouth that hadn’t been there before. Her lips, which had always been wide and thin, tended to press together more often when she wasn’t talking as if she’d just tasted something sour or she was trying to trap in words she didn’t wish to say.

“You mean Tom? Your husband?” I said. Her statement had come out of the blue as if she were picking up a conversation she’d dropped some time ago with some other person.

“Yes, of course, Tom. Who else would I be talking about?” Her voice was snappish as if I’d insulted her in some way.

The hackles on my neck rose. Marcia had also been something of a bitch. Which is probably why I hadn’t tried to see her these last five years. We’d met in college in a class on American Colonial History. I hadn’t wanted take the class. History bored me to tears, but I had needed the credits. Marcia, on the other hand, who was born back east and, apparently, had cut her teeth on stories told to her by her relatives about her most revered and esteemed colonial ancestors aced through the course and helped me to at least get a passing grade in it.

I’d never considered her a close friend, even in college, but she’d been witty and intelligent and sarcastic and back then I’d thought that was the way you acted when you were cool.

I know better now.

“So he makes you laugh,” I remarked, taking a sip of my coffee. I grimaced. It still tasted like battery acid. Not that I’ve ever tasted battery acid, but if anything could or should taste like battery acid it had to be this woefully expensive coffee.

I’d never been to this coffee shop before. It was on a side of the city I rarely visited. I called it Snob Hill, but its real name was Snow Hill. it was famous for having this huge hill that, when it snowed, people came from all across the city to sled or snowboard down it.

Snow Hill was a ritzy, upper-crust neighborhood with fancy shops selling fancy goods that were way overpriced but were “unique”. Marcia had recently moved back to the city and into a two-story brownstone in the Snow Hill neighborhood with her new husband, Tom. She called me up the other day and asked if I’d like to meet her for coffee. I’d been surprised because, like I said, I hadn’t seen her in five years, but I’d also been intrigued. Marcia was the last person I’d ever imagined being married.

“Yes, he makes me laugh,” she echoed tartly. “Sometimes.”

Her green eyes narrowed into glittering slits. I took this as a sign I was supposed to ask her more questions about Tom.

“What does he do that makes you laugh?” I asked.

“He belches Broadway tunes.”