The Blue Cup Cafe exists in my mind and in my writing.
The patrons of the cafe are characters in a series of interwoven tales where various other patrons write what they imagine to be the stories behind those observe at The Blue Cup.

Warning: To those sensitive to rough language, you may find a little here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shawna, the Office Foodie

Shawna brought in six bags of Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffles.
Just what an office full of hormonally, emotionally, personally, and professionally stressed-out women need.
Shawna, the office foodie.

Beth's Boss, Janus

"Interesting day at work yesterday," said Beth..  "I got to watch a whiney, lying, two-faced manipulator in action, blatantly in front of me...I'll call him Janus. Ancient God of the doorway with two faces. Ushering in the New Year, looking forward and behind.  Covering his ass, most likely, not some swell visionary thing."

Lucy Rebels

Lucy learned to be a nicotine addicted alchoholic very quickly. 
She drove to work with a six pack of beer in the back seat.  A six pack usually got her through a workday.  She drank her first beer at home in the morning, on an empty stomach.  It gave her a better first buzz that way.  She followed that with a cup of coffee.  Later at work she’d have something to eat. 
She smoked three cigarettes on her way to work.  She’d learned to drive one-handed with the window cracked, smoke and ash blowing out the crack. She could rest her hand over the heat vent on the door panel that blasted hot air so she could smoke even on the coldest days.  Like today. 
Funny.  Smoking was considered such a no-no, but the drinking was considered de rigueur.  Of course you drank after work.  Of course you kicked back on the weekends, and even tied one on.  ‘Ritas and ‘Tini’s of every flavor and variety were shared and compared.  Tropical and fruity, and PUNCH RECIPES GALOR were emailed and faxed.  And sangrias with enough hard booze to knock out the entire Spanish Army.. 
So Lucy smoked.  She knew it was some sort of rebellion against society in general.  A society that glamorized drinking and sex, but vilified smoking.  Well, then, damn it, she’d smoke if boozing it up and sleeping around wasn’t enough of a rebellion.

Lilly and John

Lilly couldn't sleep.  She got up at 4:44, acording to the infuriatingly accurate green-glowing clock.  She shuffled into the bathroom, peed and showered, and slipped quietly back into bed with John. He was on his side facing away from her. Lilly spooned him, slipped her arm over his ample torso, and tucked her hand under his crossed arms. Sometimes, when she tried to move her hand away he gripped it tightly, like he didn’t want to let her go. That is what she told herself. That he couldn’t let her go. She knew in some other part of her brain that it was probably just some sleep induced reaction with no definitive meaning. But the spiritual, sensual, cosmic part of Lilly wanted to believe that there was at least some conscious part of John that knew, even in sleep, that it was she who was tucked around him, and that he desperately needed her and did not want her to leave. Sometimes she felt this same pull, when he held her with his arm around her. When she tried to move his grip on her grew stronger. She loved that. One little motion that meant more to her than all the orgasms he felt he was so easily and abundantly supplying.

Carolyn and the "Mujeres al Borde..."

Cinco Mujeres.  Five women.  Five women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  None of them could remember how they all met, but for some months now they had been regularly meeting at the Blue Cup Café as a quasi therapy session and support group.  And it was after Carolyn showed her class at Belleview the Almodovar film “Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios,” to which she also invited her therapy-mates, that she started calling their little group “Mujeres al Borde."
The name stuck.

Lynda Brightwell

Lynda Brightwell looked as pretty as her name suggested.  She had shoulder-length hair the color of a sunlit hayfield, a clean healthy look, and a confident walk.  Rooms brightened when she entered.  Bright.  That is what everyone said of Lynda.  People meant both her mind and her personality.  Her manner.  Bright without being pushy or even perky.  She turned the heads of most men, and a hell of a lot of women, too, without being stunningly beautiful in the least.  She looked like the wholesome-farm-girl-next-door come to life in the city, but easy and comfortable with the transition.
She ate lunch two or three times a week at the Blue Cup Café, a few blocks walk from her workplace.  She lived two towns north, and took the train in every day to her job as a manager in a local bank.  Her specialty was real estate and small business loans.  She escaped from her office at lunch every day.  She needed the escape.
 Her calm sunny exterior masked exceedingly well her struggles and her grief. 

Edna the Brave

Edna was a widow.  A recent widow.  Less than a year,  anyway. Seven long agonizing months of widowhood.  Widowed too young, thought Edna.  Her life was her home, her family,  her husband.  And now they were all gone, all gone except the house she could barely keep up on her own.
Damn.  Damn, damn, damn, Edna thought.  Of course, she only thought it.  Edna never swore, not even damn.  Shed  been raised a pretty strict Methodist, and one just didn't use that kind of language, though she was tolerant of others who did.  Especially as she sure as hell thought it these days.  Damn fucking shitty hell is what she thought.  And often those first few months of widowhood.  And the pain was still there.  But one day, about a month ago, she woke up and said to herself...what the hell am I doing with my life.  Nothing.  Ray wouldn't have wanted me to live like this.  I don't want to live like his.  So she made a plan. The plan was simple.  Do things she had always vaguely dreamed of doing.  At least try them.  Do at least  one brave thing every day.

George and the Laptop from Hell

It was the second week of January, and George was fifty, and felt it.  His girlfriend had left him over Christmas to spend the holiday with her daughter in Miami.  She called him up New Year's Eve morning and told him she'd gotten a job down there and wasn't coming back.  So instead of picking her up at the airport George picked up a big case of Miller High Life's on sale for $10.99 at the liquor store, went home and spent New Year's Eve watching Soprano reruns on DVD, drinking halfway through the case of beer, and talking to his cat.
She went to Miami.  He got drunk.
That was the whole sad affair in two short sentences.  Seven words.