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“Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.
From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.
Rose’s gesture of kindness to a desperately-underdressed man has taken an unexpected turn.
Simple and Everyday
“But if we might meet here again, and talk – ” I couldn’t keep looking into his eyes; it was too intimate, and I too aware of him.
“Perhaps we will, although I know not where life will carry me, and so I’ll repay you now, kind Rose, and leave no unfinished business between us.”
I finally palm my wallet, and start to wiggle out a bill; he zips open his fraying bag, and removes a crisp newspaper as though it is the most valuable thing he possesses. It’s an improvisational dance, with no place for the gears and machinery of my workaday life or complex social constructs.
Jeremy taps the pages of his paper. It smells clean, and of fresh inks. Simple and everyday; coffee and the newspaper.
What is Jeremy going to do with his newspaper?
Will he accept Rose’s money?
Will she see him again?
Any guesses you’d like to share?
“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 to my backlist.