Impromptu Writing: The Isolated Individual

He is always sitting at the corner of the coffee shop. His gaze is so hollow, so distant; always staring out the fairly large plain window. But it doesn’t seem like he is waiting for anyone or anything at all. He is just there; every single day for the past 3 years. He is always on time, always at the very same seat.

When the clock strikes 2, his will be insinuating his lanky body through the swinging door, the doorframe barely brushing against his tip of his head. He is easily recognisable, probably because of his choice of clothing. It will always be a grey overcoat that would camouflage in the crowd, making sure that he doesn’t have to deal with any unnecessary attention. He is probably sentimental, regardless rain or shine; it will always be that grey overcoat. He will manoeuvre himself carefully over to the counter. Then he would place his order of a large hot mocha, with double shot of espresso, without any whip cream on top. That may be his personal preferences and he might be reluctant to change any time soon. Oddly enough, he would specifically want his beverage to be served in a tall glass, assuring the baristas that he is merely “trying to reduce carbon footprint”.

He put down his book one evening before his usual time to leave, which was extremely surprising for a routine that the baristas have grown accustomed too. Almost like a series of prerequisite for a tradition that has to be exercised and respected from the start to the end. On a chilly Friday at 6pm, he broke it – the sanctity and purity of his devoted routine that was closely weaved between the cultural fabrics in this coffee shop down the street. If you could hear it, it would sound like a shattering glass, muffled by the lamination, falling against the cold, hard concrete cement floor. His phone beeped for the very first time in the coffee shop. He read it, from what assumed to be a text message. It was different, today is definitely different – something is going to happen.

He walked over to the counter again.

Heartbeat raced through the roof, the barista on duty remained silent, not sure what to do or how to react to this. As he walked closer to the counter, it seems like he opened his mouth, wanting to say something but suddenly halted. He hesitated, he must be. Maybe he is going to leave, maybe he is going to ask for a serviette, or maybe he is just going to the toilet. People begin speculating what happened, or more specifically, what will happen. “How may I help you, sir?” the barista asked, trying to sound as natural as possible.  He shook his head for a moment and adjusted his gaze out of the window again. Before he turned his head back to the barista, he took in a very deep breath.

“I would like to have two large cups of hot mocha to go please. With no whip cream on top. Thanks,” he said with a large smile on his face.


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