i read little fiction, and write even less. so only one thing is here, the following, which is really nothing much.

a bad afternoon

the coffee shop was loud, as usual. parking was a disaster, some musical event at the theater next door; i had to drive around and around. too stubborn to take the first spot i found, i had to continue to try to find a close one. here i love to walk, i walk to work, maybe five or six hours of walking every week, and i'm doing everything i can to avoid walking an extra thirty seconds. it takes me about twenty minutes to find a spot.

lunch was a pain; i went into the pub, and stood waiting by a sign that said please wait to be seated. in a rare burst of social conformity, i waited. three couples came in after me, one at a time, and proceeded to walk right past the sign and stroll around. i'm annoyed. i want to preserve my precious space in line.

so finally the hostess arrives; she wonders where to put me (half the tables are empty, she must have a terrible time when it's actually busy). i suggest i could sit at the bar, so she tries to put me in a cramped little space. before i sit down, i select a different seat with room to read. i wait for the bartender to take my order.

and i wait, and i wait. now this is getting annoying. twenty minutes to park (somehow i don't blame myself for this) and then i had to worry about those couples maybe stealing the hostess's attention before i got attended to, and now i'm stuck sitting on a barstool, wondering why the bartender is washing dishes and chatting with customers and is seemingly oblivious to this customer, sitting with an ever growing annoyed expression.

are you being helped? the question takes me by surprise; i haven't been paying attention. no! i blurt out, then, embarrassed by my tone, i quietly give my order. not complex. i get my beer, i read, i get my sandwich, i read more, eat the sandwich (quite tasty, actually) and enjoy the stout. yeah, stout. i didn't want stout with my club sandwich, i wanted bitter. no bitter, so porter. no porter, either, but the bartender suggests stout (guinness, or Watney's): it's a lot like porter. hmmph! porter is an ale, stout is a lager. nothing like it. i certainly don't want an i.p.a., so i select the Watney's stout. sweeter than the guinness i'm used to. it goes well with the sandwich. a pretty decent lunch for ten bucks.

peeved, i leave the pub and head to the coffee shop. this was the point of the expedition. i'd sit and read, get a jump on upcoming homework, and maybe my friend Dave will drop by for a game or too. i've been trying to get a hold of Dave all weekend. damn inconsiderate of him, not being there for me right when i call. well, i left a message i'll be at the coffeehouse; drop buy if you want to play. so there i am, i buy my coffee. of course, the choices are mexican organic (yuck), guatemalan (i really prefer african or indonesian coffee to central america), and french roast. not even parallel names, no coffee just what I want, but I ask for the guatemalan.

it's empty. the counter-person looks wistfully back at the brewing engine making more guatemalan (why not switch to yummy sumatra, say?). i say that the french will be fine, so she fills the glass and we execute the transaction. no bitter, no stout, no sumatra, sheesh. what gives? i add my cream, and begin looking for a seat.

cool, there's that guy i've been lusting after. i know he's in a relationship, but he loves to flirt, with everyone. so that's fine; it's not going anywhere, but it's fun. he introduces me to friends of his, and they and i spend hours chatting about this and that. nice people; i'd like to get to know them more. eventually they leave for dinner, and i start doing some homework. it's time to leave soon. little reading has been accomplished, and Dave never dropped by. can't anything go right?

funny how a pleasant afternoon, with a good lunch, possibly new friends, and a nice conversation, can leave me feeling like the day's been a waste. clearly, i consider, i must spend more energy capturing the perfect parking place. another half-hour of driving about, and i would have had it, and then everything would surely have gone fine.

things i have written: