She had been sitting in front of the laptop for hours. Two cups of tea, her third had long since turned cold. Why wasn’t she typing?
She was a regular here. She would walk in just when the sun set and set up camp in the bright corner of the café. She was easy to spot the moment you walked in, but something about her said she didn’t want to be bothered. Perhaps the fact that she never quite smiled when she was working. Today, however, she was not working. She was just staring at the screen. A blank screen. She had tried to type a few times but that didn’t last long. It didn’t look like she had given up though. It was as if she was looking for something in her mind. And whatever it was, it seemed important.
Most days, she would work so hard that she often forgot about whatever beverage she had ordered until she took a break. Enjoying whatever the drink had become. If it was hot, it would’ve tuned cold by then. if it was a cold drink, the ice would vanish, and the drink would become somewhat warm. But she seemed to like it. The fruit of her labour.
She never stayed consistent with her orders. Even the way she ordered varied. She was intriguing. Some days, she would walk in already sure of what she wanted. If there was a crowd, she would patiently wait her turn to say exactly what she wanted. Hi. I would like a medium vanilla milkshake. Not too sweet. More cream though. Extra ice if you can. I am aiming for something light. A chocolate drizzle would be much appreciated. On days like these, it was obvious she planned on staying a while. The extra ice meant the drink would last long and stay cold a while longer so she wouldn’t have to think about it for a while.
On other days, she was lazy with her time. She would walk in, allow people to go first while she decided what she wanted. Hot or cold? Sweet or so-so? sometimes she asked for suggestions. Other times, she made up her mind all by herself. Though she studied our menu often, her eyes twinkled whenever she finally decided on her order. Almost as if she was discovering it for the very first time. Tea, coffee, something in between. She drank everything. she enjoyed them too.
Today, was different. She walked in very determined, yet very indecisive. After a moment of deliberation, realising she was spending time at the counter, she asked us to choose. She would accept whatever we gave her. Something neutral, she said. What does that even mean? Something neutral. you know what, I’d like a cup of tea, please. Something fruity. A cup of fruity tea. Of course, she knew what she wanted. She just needed time to realise that. Time.
Why wasn’t she working? What was plaguing her mind? What was she looking for?
*across the room on a blank screen a young woman types*
What am I thinking about? Why can’t I write? Why can’t I write anymore? Where is my head? Or do I have nothing else to write about? Now I need to pee. Sigh.
I think I should call it a night. Some days are just like that. There’s nothing. Nothing I am willing to write about regardless of how much I want to.
Perhaps another time then.
After hours of typing and resigning, she shuts down the laptop, packs her stuff, settles her bill and walks out. Perhaps another time then.