Someone bought a copy of my book!

Far too often, I obsess about stupid, tiny, insignificant little things.  Most of the time, it’s because I’m a self-diagnosed internet junkie.  I get started playing stupid games on the internet and that will be all I do for varying lengths of time.  There was the free internet poker, Farm Town, Family Feud, and countless others.  This is just a manifestation of when i was a kid and TV or Nintendo were the all important things in my life.

But, still I obsess over things.  For example, on a daily basis I check my Amazon account to see if anyone bought a copy of one of my books.  It seems kind of ridiculous, I know.  What’s worse, is sometimes I find myself checking more than once a day.  “It’s been thirty minutes, maybe now someone has bought a copy!”  That rarely happens (the book buying, not the stupidity; the stupidity is always there).

Yet, I check it often, like a child running to the incubator to see if a baby chick has hatched from the egg laid two days ago.

So, if I obsess over checking it, then you guess the glee that comes when I learn that someone has indeed bought a copy.  For instance, someone bought one yesterday.  They bought a copy of my detective story, Our Own Devils, and this has me all kinds of twitterpated.  Yes, I know that’s not a real word, I just think it sounds funny.

Now, since some complete stranger was kind enough to spend $5.00 on my stuff, I’m going to reward you out there with one of my short stories.  This one has not been published anywhere and is as yet untitled.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.


He pulled into the drive thru coffee shop; that’s where he met her.  He saw her scurrying inside the shack all by herself, having been left alone by her co-worker while she left to hit the Starbucks up the street instead.

He was immediately transfixed by her eyes and the fact that she was almost too skinny—like Mick Jagger skinny.  He was so distracted by her eyes and her extra-skinny skinny jeans that she had to practically yell at him to get his order.

“Non-fat latte, extra foam.”

He smiled awkwardly and blushed a deep shade of red under her curious gaze and then cursed himself once she fully retreated inside the coffee hut.  He wanted to say “Hi” and introduce himself, but how?  He couldn’t very well ask her out for coffee, could he?

Once again, she had to yell at him and snap him back to the reality.  He laughed nervously and rolled down his window, but she had grown impatient with his absent mindedness and the line of cars behind him was growing.  She didn’t wait for the window to go down completely before trying to hand him his frothy beverage.

The bottom of the large cup caught the lip of the window.  Her grip on the cardboard sleeve faltered and the cup slipped from her hand.

They both watched in slow-motion as the Styrofoam cylinder tumbled through the air, giant droplets of beige liquid spluttering out of it as though Buzz Aldrin had spilled his non-fat latte with extra foam in space.  It caught the driver’s knee and erupted.  The black lid gave way and flew up sharply in the air and the creamy contents expanded to fill the vast space of the 1978 Chevy Silverado pick-up’s cab.

For the most part, he was lucky.  Sure, the brand new stereo deck he’d just had installed the day before was shot, but his pre-aged jeans caught the least of the damage.  There was a moment of silence while they both remained frozen and still, staring at his caffeinated crotch.

“Oh my God,” she said.  “I’m so very sorry.  How on earth can I make this Up to you?”

He smiled.  “Let me buy you dinner,” he said, somehow emboldened by the sodden denim.

Amazingly, with a cherub’s smile, she said, “Yes.”

And that’s how it started.  They had dinner.  They talked for hours.  One date became two, and so on.  Two years later he proposed to her in that same drive thru while she worked and morning commuters honked and cheered.  They had two kids and moved to the suburbs.  He sold real estate; she was the head of the PTA.  Fifty years later they danced at their grandson’s wedding.

And it all started with a spilled non-fat latte with extra foam.

* * * * *

Horns sounded behind and she knocked angrily on his window, her diamond ring sounding sharply on the glass.  He rolled down his window and apologized prophetically while she screamed, “$8.50!” in a shrill voice as she shoved his coffee in his face.

He handed the money over with his head hung low and drove away in shame.

“Weirdo…” she said.


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