James Joyce and the Coffee Shop

The music ground to a halt, and your voice receded to the shadows as a voice came barging into my reverie, "Is this seat taken?"

My glare drew power from the occasionaly draft of winter air that accompanied each new customer, not that this miscreant noticed the chill as I answered, "What do you think?"

"I'm sorry," he said, palm raised in defense, "It's just the place is really crowded, and I'm stuck here for at least an hour, so I just thought..."  He trailed off, and my gaze drifted back to the mushy streets, my mind yearning to return to soothing songs of warmer climes.  Foolishly, he took my silence for acquiescence and sat, quietly arranging a large coffee, a newspaper, and a small notepad.

"I don't recall saying the seat wasn't taken," I said without looking at him.

He sounded genuinely sorry as he checked his progress of settling in, "Oh, jeez.  Were you actually waiting for someone?  I thought you were just worried I was tyring to pick you up."

My eyebrow cocked, "Pick me up?"

"I'm not," he protested.  That's what they all say.  "So, are you waiting for someone?"

A sigh made its way out of my reluctant mouth, and I yearned afresh for your voice to return as I replied, "No one who'll come."

He must have read my expression as his tone softened, "Ah, I see.  Well then I'm definitely not trying to hit on you.  I know better than to compete with the dead.  James Joyce taught me that much."

The End

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