Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 187

His feet shifted. He continued to stare. She sat quiet, looking into her coffee cup.

Finally, without thinking, he moved his arm tenuously, but swiftly, an instinctive gesture, as if his arm were not under his control but were guided by a primal emotion, an uncontrollable impulse. His hand jerked awkwardly toward hers. He was as surprised as she. He didn’t know what he would say to her when their hands met, he had no idea, but he assumed that at that moment, the moment when their hands touched, that the right words would come to him.

His shaking arm skimmed across the tabletop and bumped his coffee cup hard enough to topple it. The sweetened coffee spilled and flowed. He immediately stopped his reach, withdrew his arm, and raised himself from his chair.

She pulled back her hovering hand, stood up and stared silently at him, her forehead wrinkled, her mouth slightly open.

He was staring at the tabletop, at the coffee spill, thinking about the coffee shop’s windows and thinking that if they weren’t so cloudy and dirty that the people on the outside, the passersby, would be able to see in and would observe the two of them standing there now.

The black coffee spread quickly over the round tabletop. He stood still and quiet and watched as the pure white sugar cube turned dark at its very bottom and then as the darkness slowly, insidiously, and inexorably spread upward engulfing the cube.


‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.’

– William Blake