Today’s prompt is three parts. Take about 20 minutes, or as much time as you need, for each section.
Part One: Write a list of events from this past month:
What aggravated you?
What frustrated you?
What made you laugh or cry?
What made you lose your temper?
What was the worst thing that happened?
The most disturbing or weird?
Part Two: Choose one thing from your list and write about it. Write whatever comes to mind. Write what you would really like to say to the other people involved. Take your time with this. Write until you have no more to say on the subject.
Write what happened from your point of view.
Part Three: Only do this after you have done Part Two — If another person was involved, step into his or her shoes. Write what happened from the other person’s point of view.
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It was a good day, I’d managed to find a coffee shop that didn’t in some way resemble a Google Boardroom. It was packed though, and people were waiting in line. Every table was full and I thought there wouldn’t be much of a chance of sitting down for my coffee but anyway I’d see as I moved up the line. The women behind me were talking about going to the gymnasium. It was a very interesting conversation about cellulite. I pick up a Kit Kat and place it there to be paid for along with my coffee. As I finish my purchase, a woman leaves a table where she has been sitting next to a handsome black chap, well dressed, and reading the New York Times in what I consider to be a very old fashioned way, spread out between his arms and held up in front of his face. I peer over the top of the newspaper and ask if he minds me taking the vacant seat? He closes his paper momentarily and smiles, inviting me to sit down, then raises his paper wide again. Being new to America I need this opportunity to simply sit for a moment and take in my surroundings. It’s been a hectic morning and I’m feeling a little flustered, so it’s good just to sit and relax. People no longer relax in coffee shops. I turn to take a sip of my coffee only to find my table companion eating my Kit Kat, having opened it and broken off two fingers! My shock is almost too much, I mean I’ve heard so many stories about the effrontery of Americans, but this is a stretch too far. Being an Englishman I’m unable to simply accept that this, what appears to be a perfectly sane, handsome guy, with intelligence, has the audacity to go ahead and open my Kit Kat and eat it! Several things run simultaneously through my mind; he’s insane, he has a gun, he’s starving…none of which linger too long, but long enough for this very tall man, very athletic young man, to completely finish my Kit Kat. Not only does he finish it but returns my incredulous stare, as if I am in some way to blame for his hunger! It’s a standoff. I stare him down, he stares back. I can’t simply let him do this to me, take advantage of me not knowing the culture. I am starting to think what my first verbal remark to him might be: I’m sorry you’re starving, can I buy you another? And I was about to say just this when the young man stood up, revealing to me the six-feet-seven-inches of muscled torso, and took himself back to the now empty counter and purchased a blueberry muffin! Returning to the table he set his purchase down, and left in the direction of the rest room. Thank you, Lord, for presenting me with this opportunity, I told myself, picked up his muffin and took the hugest bite my mouth could accommodate, picked up my coffee and left. This would teach the American that fooling around with an Englishman is not just as simple as picking up his Kit Kat and eating it. Feeling distinctly satisfied with the outcome, even though I look like a squirrel with my mouth full of muffin, I reach my car and put my hand in my pocket for my keys, only to pull out my OWN Kit Kat! The blueberry muffin, still in my mouth simply refused to go down my throat as my color flushed and my hands began to shake! I could go back in, maybe try to explain what I believed had happened, but he is six-feet-seven-inches tall, and I am five-feet-seven-inches and seventy years old! So I did what thousands of years of being English does, sounded the retreat! I’ve never gone back to the coffee shop.
I don’t know why I felt I needed a break, but I couldn’t sit in the showroom anymore waiting for a client to just wander in and buy a Porsche off me. Ten years I’ve been selling cars, and this past year has been the worst for sales. The economy hasn’t just slumped, it has broken its back! Selling cars is a mind game between me and the client, I have to work out what he really needs, as opposed to what he thinks he wants.
That’s why I thought I’d come away from the lights and the shiny polish and sit and have a quiet cup of coffee, maybe read the newspaper and let all the stress simply wash away with a Latte. I join the line, and pick up the New York Times, I don’t know the last time I actually read a newspaper. I order a skinny Latte, and a chocolate biscuit. Something called a Kit Kat. Never had one, and as today is a day for doing something different, why not. To heck with my diet. I keep fit six days a week, I can surely have one chocolate biscuit. That old girl looks sweet, I’ll check in and see if we cannot share the table. Poor old girl looks lonely. We share a little banter about the day, she smiles, and I unfold my newspaper. The Latte is perfect, good temperature, and it looks like the New York Yankees did a number on the White Socks. Ah, my little old friend is leaving, bless her. She offers me a smile, which I return. How nice to see someone who doesn’t want something from me; a better deal, and other color, leather interior, just an old lady offering a sweet smile. That might have been the perfect end but for my new acquaintance. His accent is unmistakable, English, with that lilt of perfection for sound we American’s have somehow lost, or just abused. He sits. I continue my story reading how the Yankee’s won against the White Socks. This is a good time to open up my biscuit, and spoil myself with something that has no good stuff in it; just great taste!
What is it about people? They see you enjoying something for the first time, and straight away they give you weird looks. Has he never seen a black man eating a Kit Kat before? I return his stare of rudeness and finish my Biscuit, licking my fingers to emphasize my enjoyment. What makes a person react to pleasure by offering a scowl? Here’s what I’m going to do; I’m going to buy myself one of those hug Blueberry muffins and eat the damn thing right in front of him. Trust me, he looks like he’s eaten a few himself! I set it down on the table, and before I sit down to enjoy, I head to the restroom, leaving my muffin on the table for him to drool over. His wife has probably had him on an involuntary diet for a year! When I return, there it is, my blueberry muffin with the hugest bite out of it. I have to smile. I’ve heard about those wife-beaten English husbands. If I was suffering under that kind of regime, I’d probably take a bite of his muffin, too. Still, walking back to the car showroom, I finally understand what they say about the English is true. They are all okay as long as they are back in England!
mcullen Post author
Kelly, this is hilarious. Great humor. I enjoyed hearing both sides of the story! Love the surprises and revelations in the last paragraph.
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