I was standing in the queue at Starbucks. It was long and all the other customers were seemingly dithering on purpose.
‘What would you like sir?’
‘What would you like miss?’
Had they not thought about their order while they were waiting? Had they not considered the options while they were standing in my position? I fidgeted in agitation. I glared at each customer who caused to pause and shifted impatiently at each panicked expression that flickered over the coffee menu. I sighed heavily and cast a glance at the customers who had managed to make a decision and were sitting enjoying their mugs of mermaid juice.
At least I think that lady in their logo is a mermaid.
‘What would you like?’
Finally, my turn.
‘A cinnamon latte please.’ I glared at the others who had just gone before me; clustering around the other end of the counter waiting for their indecisive drinks and hoping, probably, that they hadn’t made a mistake. My clarity felt like power.
My Christmas in a cup eventually came, I mean I was in a hurry, I had somewhere to be, but I wasn’t about to rush out without first adding three sachets of sugar. Then I saw him. I was casually pouring in the sugar. Casually looking around. When I had to suddenly suppress a chuckle.
A man had taken a slurp of his beverage and had suddenly acquired a white frothy moustache upon his cleanly shaven face. I wasn’t sure if he was playing around or just hadn’t noticed. I mean how can you not notice the warm wet feeling of billions of bubbles on your lip?
His face drifted in my direction and I was able to see the majestic symmetrical smudge of white speckled with brown chevron plastered on his face.
He noticed me staring.
I hadn’t notice him noticing me staring.
I watched the froth smile.
Then he wiped it away.
My smile disappeared and I allowed my eyes to drift up to meet his. They were creased into a bemused expression and were brimming with expectation. I suddenly felt indignant and walked over to his table.
‘Here’s a napkin, you missed a spot.’
I then walked out. The hairless wonder watched me leave. Confused and slighted. I hollered back with no real intention for him to hear.
‘I preferred you with the tache.’
For a moment I admit, I had felt vulnerable. The joker had spoiled the joke. The spectator had now become the display. I didn’t like it. He ruined our connection and seemed to think I would still play along.
Like hell, fool.
Besides I had somewhere to be.