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“Monday Morning Coffee” is a story that’s been with me longer than my oldest child. It began, in its earliest form, when I was only sixteen, and there was a compelling news story that fired my sense of empathy and imagination. A teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.
From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.
I’m not quite sure how to classify this story; any ideas and impressions you have, I’d love to hear!
A young woman is waiting for her train and musing about the disconnection of the people around her. She realizes that she’s being watched by a threadbare man she doesn’t know, but then a group of teenagers come between them.
The Cogs of My Monday
I can pretend that there are only the girls and their simple lives – lives that include warm coats and Monday morning treats. I can pretend he’s not there, in his flimsy windbreaker, hands clutching an invisible travel mug. But what right do I have to do that, to go on with my life in the face of his need – a need I’ve seen and recognized?
The cogs of my Monday grind and catch. I huddle into my cloak, echoing his posture. He’s watching intently, licking his lips as he stares, not at me, but at the cup I hold.
The gears of routine grind and squeal and smoke, but they can’t move on – not while I know he’s sitting there.
Maybe someone will help him.
But that’s less than an answer.
Who is the man?
Why is he here at the train station?
Does the woman have some answer to his need?
Will she be able to get on with her Monday?
Come back next week and learn more!
“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.
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