CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 42

CoffeeShop Blues water until I couldn’t pretend that the water had any warmth left in it whatsoever. Then I stayed just a little longer until there was no doubt that it was definitely cold. I stepped out of the tub, vigorously toweled myself off, peeked into the kitchen, where Fidel had fallen asleep next to the blue gas flame. I quietly walked up and turned the burner off and then snuck into my room. I pulled out the sleeping bag, quickly hopped in it, as in a competitor at the start of a sack race, then bounced over to the well used red chair, slithered up on it, freed a single arm to loosen the back and reclined. I closed my eyes and gratefully let the sadness sink into my conscious like a low, melancholy lullaby. Even the sunshine has a grey tinge in London. A stark light grey sunbeam cut through the cold winter morning air. There was no snow, but it felt like there was; it was as if you were existing in a giant industrial freezer. I wandered into work and began to count down the hours. I could not relax completely as Bajuetta was working. She was half West Indian and had perfect everything. I tried to play it cool and pretend I didn’t notice she was pretty, but whenever I tried to be normal I freaked out, clammed up and began dithering, stammering and taking my innate awkwardness to exciting new highs. I could crack her up a little but most of the time just snuck quick peeks at her and marveled at how beautiful she was. She was, as they say, way out of my league and belonged on a fashion magazine cover. On these cold cold days I often frequented a baked potato shop that was only a short walk down the smooth stoned, cobbled grey street. It was bright red, the inside seemingly inspired by an old school English telephone box. There was something cozy and very comforting in a baked potato on a freezing London day. It just felt right and British to be greedily digging into a potato filled with cheese and whatever you had imagined might taste good. Those steaming hefty lumps of goodness provided both tremendous sustenance and also a second heat source. 42