Writer’s cafe 1

Out in the lobby of the office building, brushed aluminum chairs were arranged in a circular forum with matching tables, looking lonely and cold, waiting for the arrival of the small group of writers. Kay stepped out into the lobby while Mrs. Stepford lined up two cups of coffee.

“Save us a good seat”, she directed from her position in line.

“I’ll get the same ones as last time,” Kay called back as she advanced into the meeting space. One boy was seated at the far end of the circle; a second one deposited a Hostess Swiss Roll with an obvious bite out of it on the table directly opposite the seated boy. It was the farthest table from him. When he saw Kay he darted back to his friend and sat down looking innocent as an angel. His eyes darted back to the chocolate bait minus a bite and then quickly back to his friend. There was some semi-whispering that Kay could not hear. Both boys were dressed in black with baseball caps worn backwards. One wore a hoodie in camouflage pattern that was grey, white and black. They lounged on the chairs in adolescent nonchalance at the same time as they bristled with youthful energy.

Kay’s eyes too had darted from the half-roll to the boy and back. There was some gentle mischief going on and she smiled.

“Are you joining the writer’s group? she asked the perpetrator of the practical joke.

“Writer’s group?”

“Yes, the writer’s group is meeting is gathering here at seven o’clock. You are quite welcome to join us.” It was already five past and no one else had chosen a chair to sit in.It was Kay’s own brand of mischief. She was pretty certain that the boys had not been aware that their chosen spot was intended for anyone else but themselves.

“Oh no!” the boy said, both alarmed and a bit embarrassed. Just then, a third boy arrived, discovered his Swiss Roll sitting out on the table missing a crucial bite.

“Oh no you don’t,” he exclaimed as he dashed over to his companions, forcefully grabbed the box of treats from his friend’s hands and extracted a whole new one for himself. They giggled and wrestled, pushing and shoving, but once the chocolate permeated his mouth, the lad withdrew and concentrated on chewing and swallowing. They settled into a quiet conversation of kibutzing and teasing.

Mrs. Stepford arrived with her coffee; Kay went to fix it with milk and sweetener. By the time she came back, the boys were gone.


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