A true story with a little imagination.
In the quaint Florida coastal town of Vero Beach, I stepped into a coffee shop with an odd mixture of small town folks in what I thought to be an ordinary cafe.
Not unusual to notice that people were talking or reading and writing at their seats. The kitchen was heard. The scraping and clatter of its pans and forks. A yell from the side and then a window slam.
I ordered coffee and sat down at a table next to the coffee bar. I pulled out my journal to finish writing the characters of a story. I heard the barista yelling at a man walking away. He stopped, looked at his coffee and said “This is not my coffee”
The barista exclaimed “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you” Then she pointed at me and yelled with a piercing screech “It’s his coffee!” I jolted back, then got up and approached the guy, he apologized and handed me my coffee,
“looks like I grabbed your coffee by accident”
“No problem. An easy mistake”
I took my coffee and went back to my table.
The guy watched me. I looked back and thought it odd he was watching me. Next he came over to my table.
He reached out his hand and introduced himself.
“My name is Victor. I was in a coffee shop in Delray Beach and the same thing happened. I grabbed an old woman’s coffee accidentally and she had meltdown! Started yelling and had me buy her a new cup”
My first thought was, I used to live in Delray. So I asked,
“What were you doing in Delray Beach?”
“I was looking at buying property there but I moved up here instead. That lady in Delray, what a pain in the ass she was. You seem like a regular guy. Thanks for not freaking out.”
“It’s alright. By the way, I used to live in Delray. Have we ever met?”
“No, I don’t think so? Maybe, I don’t know but I have to get going. Take it easy.”
And then he walked away. I looked down into my journal, reviewing the description of “The drunken German conductor” and analyzing a scene in a train. In the story “the train made a quick jolt forward and the conductor stumbled, his ink and stamp jumped out of his hand, his cap flew into Sophia’s lap and when he landed into an adjacent seat he took a bite of his own lip.”
I chuckled. “I need to use this character again!” He was a German conductor on a train to Paris, wore a cap and a bow tie and reeked of whiskey. His pony tail was sloppily hanging out of the side of his cap. “Klaus Stoolerfield, that’s his name.” The juices were flowing through my head!
I stopped to hear the music play, “Here he comes to save the daaaayyy! Mighty Mouse is on the waaaayy!” The barista yelled out “Andy Kaufman in the house!” I looked up and sitting across the cafe with his stamps in his bag was the conductor. “Klaus Stoolerfeild? Really?” Wearing the cap with his hair hanging out of the side. He was sipping coffee. He looked around then took out a half pint of whisky and poured a swig into his coffee. My eyes in amazement. “It can’t be, can it?” it’s my character! I was writing about him. I scratched my head then rubbed my eyes. “Holy Smokes!” My mind is in the great beyond.
I gazed around the room and sitting in a recliner was Sophia. She was reading the paper, wearing that sexy blue skirt I created, Sophia Collins, another character in an espionage story with Jon Seaborn. The one in the same on the train with Klaus. She loved adventure and romance. Got hooked up with Jon Seaborn and ran through the streets of Paris escaping the gunshots of Jack Crawford. There she was sitting in the coffee shop.
“Which of my whimsical characters would appear next?” I saw Victor come back through the door carrying a wrinkled old bag and realized “I knew that I knew that guy! That’s Victor Cortez the Spanish Mariachi player that saved Jon and Sophia from the conductor and Crawford.
I took a wiff of my coffee, stirred it and looked for odd activity.
My characters came to life! Sophia was reading the travel section of the New York Times and clenching a gift wrapped package with her hand. She noticed me watching her. I got nervous and turned my eyes the other way.
Victor was in line again. Sophia was watching him in line and Klaus was watching the both of them. Klaus getting ready to leap out of his seat like a panther moving in for a kill. Sophia folded her paper and tucked it under her arm, she grabbed her gift wrapped package and walked in line behind Victor. She slipped the package into Victors bag. She saw me watching and quickly turned and raced to the door.
Klaus lundged out of his chair towards Sophia but tripped on his bag and the strap tangled around his ankle as he crashed into the neighboring table and pounced his nose into a pole! “Ouch!” Sophia ran out the door. Klaus, obviously disoriented, struggled to get on his knee.
Victor ran at Klaus and kicked him right in the gut. He pulled out a pistol and with both hands firmly gripping the gun, he pointed it at Klaus’s back. The kitchen doors burst open and “Duck” Trump with his white collar entourage ran in shouting “Victor Cortez we got you cornered! Shoot and you will be deported!” Victor dropped the gun and ran out the door.
The Final Round
I rushed to the barista yelling “Did you see that?! Call the police!”
“See what? What is going on?”
I looked back over and Klaus was gone. The table was still in place, nothing had been touched like it hadn’t even happened. All the folks in silence starred at me as though I had lost my mind.
“Oh, never-mind. I think I’ll leave now.” I picked up my journal, left my coffee and walked towards the door. As I exited, I turned, looked at the cafe and the folks were talking or reading and writing in their seats just like they were when I arrived before.