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Carl Buys Coffee

Carl was criminally short and walked with his fists clenched in compensation for his inability to fill space. He swaggered unnoticed in to the café. His right hand opened just long enough to dive into a pocket and envelop a mutilated one dollar bill. In his mind Carl made a grand gesture and placed the bill on the counter. In the eyes of the well groomed young woman behind the counter Carl jerked his arm in a short circle, hit his fist against the counter with a sweaty thump, and released the one dollar bill with a spasm of his hand.

"Gimme a coffee," Carl demanded in a falsely deep voice.

The well groomed young woman's dark hair moved forward as she lowered her eyes to Carl's level. She expertly disguised her smile of callous amusement at Carl's patheticness as a smile of courteousness and interest, "What kind would you like?"

Carl recoiled visibly from the unexpected challenge, "Whaddaya mean, 'What kind'?"

The well groomed young woman's eyes closed and opened slowly, concealing their roll upwards and away from Carl. "Today's coffees are Kenyan, Ethiopia Sidamo, and Hawaiian Kona."

Carl clenched his fists as tight as he could, extended his shortness as far as it would go, and said, "I don't want none of those fancy, mixed-up, girly-coffees. Just give me a good old fashioned cup of American coffee."

The well groomed young woman smiled wryly and poured Carl a small cup of Hawaiian Kona and offered it to his small body and small mind without explanation and without taking his mutilated dollar.

Carl misread the well groomed young woman's wry smile and swaggered out with one fist closed around his mutilated dollar, the other around his American coffee, and feeling rather tall.

© 1993 Michael René Barrick

Oringinal post: http://mbarrick.livejournal.com/34679.html


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