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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 is at work on a Monday morning, but she can’t escape from memories of the ragged, compelling man she met at the train station.
Society Threw Him Away
I’ve never made a point of lingering to exchange greetings. I reach the stairs that lead to my office, and descend, alone. But the rose is in my bag, and I can feel Jeremy’s kisses across my forehead. I’m not as alone as I’ve been every other Monday.
Remembering the coat that couldn’t keep him warm, and his chapped hands moving with such confident artistry, warms me and, at the same time, chills me. I imagine him sitting in the coffee shop, no longer huddled, breathing in the rich smells, sipping and eating while he indulges in his paper. Society threw him away without noticing the quick intelligence in his eyes, or the kindness in his gentle voice – but I notice, and I won’t throw him away, in my own heart, even if I never see him again.
The familiar cogs of my day stick, then lurch forward again, reminding me of the train.
Will Rose return to the station to see Jeremy?
Is he safe and warm in the coffee shop?
“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 use it as my initial self-published offering.
This week, Shakespeare in the Park with my teen was a go. We saw A Winter’s Tale – I had no prior exposure to the play, so it was fresh. I liked much of it – although I found the ending rather too indicative of the way women were viewed in that era, and too often still are today.
I’m still recovering from four months of writing challenges. Much of this week was taken up by working on my husband’s new hot sauce business, and then homeschool reporting. Nearly finished with that, at least, and then things will settle down enough that I can make the rounds to other Eight Sentence Sunday writers – I’ve missed you all!
And, on that note….