Diana at Part Time Monster hosts a weekly link-up, where you can submit a link to your post and browse everything else that’s been submitted, or you can use the #weekendcoffeeshare hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.
If we were to have coffee, I’d want it to be at a quaint coffee shop. It would be one of those places off the main drag that probably only has about ten to fifteen tables scattered around within its four walls.
(Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in green.)
Well… you’re here already? Did you order coffee yet?
I sit across from you at the smaller table set next to the picture window looking out onto the deserted street.
I just ordered. How did your week go?
Same as usual, unfortunately. Did you read that article about balancing your life?
The waitress, the same one as last week’s, places the mugs of coffee in front of us along with a plate of Texas Toast.
No rolls this week?
No, the shipment is late again.
This will do fine. Do you have honey?
She nods and trots off towards the kitchen door.
What did you ask?
You pour sugar into your coffee and stir as I add some Amaretto creamer to my coffee.
What did you think of that article on balancing your life?
Who has time to balance? I’m lucky if I make it through the day without having to juggle more than ten things on my to-do list.
Balance is important. There’s three major parts to a person’s life: work life, leisure life, and intimate life. If you’re satisfied with all three, you’re lucky. If you’re satisfied with two, you’re doing okay. If you’re only happy with one, you need to work on at least one that you’re not happy with. And if all three are a bust, you need some serious changes in your life.
One of your eyebrows peaks up as you give me a scrutinizing glare. I raise both eyebrows and sip my coffee. The honey has appeared without me realizing the waitress has come by. I squirt some of the golden syrup on a piece of toast and spread it with the bottom of my spoon.
And you believe this garbage you’re reading? I’m missing the leisure part completely unless you call this little time we have each week leisure.
I call it leisure. I have too much leisure and not enough of the other two. And the info isn’t just from the article. They use this formula at all the military bases and ports for their active-duty members.
You take a bite of the toast you had just grabbed and chomp on it with a far away look in your eyes. Placing it with the bite out of it onto a napkin, your gaze turns into a piercing stare at me.
I thought your marriage was solid. Now for the working part, you do write. Or is that a hobby?
Talking about my love life is a little embarrassing for me. I don’t talk about romance with anyone except my husband. Yet, I’m the one who’s brought up the subject. Hopefully not much will be said about this third part of the equation. Does this make me a prude? Most definitely, but at my age, I doubt I’m going to change. I sidestep.
The writing is both. The thing is, I don’t consider it work–yet. Until I’m published again, in my mind it’s a hobby even though I work at it every day.
Maybe it’s a case of you being that satisfied with that part of your life.
When I bite into the toast, the honey explodes with sweetness in my mouth. I close my eyes as I savor the toasted bread and the syrupy sugariness.
I do love writing. It isn’t the same as when I had that job at the hospital but, in its own way, it is gratifying.
So what’s wrong with your marriage?
I breathe deep. I was hoping to jump past this.
Nothing. We just need a vacation from our daily rituals. Is this the extent of your leisure time in life?
Please, enough about intimacy.
Both of us have finished our coffee. We hold our mugs in the air simultaneously and grin at each other. The waitress is with another customer, but takes the time to nod our way. We place our mugs at the end of the table so she can scoop them up for a refill. Before taking another bite of my toast, I look at you expectantly.
Okay, I do have some leisure time, but as far as it being enjoyable, these trips for coffee are it. TV bores the hell out of me usually. Until my son fixes my bike, I’m not in any of the cycling events. Don’t you dare try to include me in your nature walks either.
I shrug my shoulders.
Don’t you do anything with the kids?
Sure, the bikes. They’re teenagers. Everything else for them is teenagers only.
The waitress comes back with our refills.
The toast is a poor substitute, isn’t it. Sorry.
It’s fine. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault the truck is late.
A customer is at the register so she leaves the conversation abruptly where it is.
Big question. Are you dating anyone?
You look down into the coffee in your mug. I feel bad, but at the same time I think this conversation might be good for you.
With summer just around the corner, I’m not thinking about anything romantic. Maybe once we get into the summer routine.
I want to play matchmaker but I also know that it usually turns out terrible. Maybe I should be talking to one of your kids about this instead of you. We finish our toast in silence, peering out the window at the barren landscape of the southwestern town.
Are you good for next week?
Yeh, I should be. If you get your bike fixed though, we can change times.
It should be fine. Even if I ride, it won’t be until the early afternoon.
Finishing our drinks, I pick up the check. It’s my turn after all.
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- Posts should be framed as a chat over coffee or some other beverage.
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If we could learn how to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living and psychological health for life. – Josephine Rathbone