Mystery writing

1 07 2009

I’ve written quite a number of stuff on Starbucks Coffee napkins. I have drawings, sketches, concepts and bored doodles. I have lists of things to buy as well as dreams and ambitions. Some are journal entries scrawled on the piece of brown napkin for the lack of a proper notebook, while some are little sparks of literary ideas. This is one such spark, but it is one that totally surprised me.

This particular napkin is found between the folds of a Starbucks brochure (which I collect for their visual appeal). It had no date on it, only the time: 6:55pm. That was a mystery because I usually write down the date when I write or draw something. And then I just had to write on the side where the recycle logo and some text were printed.

It’s an unfinished story, having no resolution to the situation the narrating character finds herself in, but to a certain degree it feels complete. I don’t know if it’s related to any of the stories I’ve written or thought of before, though it’s written like a journal entry which reminds me of one abandoned story project of mine ( But there are no names to speak of, so I can’t tell if it’s part of that. Furthermore, I don’t recall any real life experiences that I could attribute it to. To tell the truth, it’s an enigma to me; like a shard of some alternate universe that got lost through space-time and landed in this reality. Not an extraordinary occurrence, since I’ve had other experiences like this: an artefact of my past turns up and my brain is a black hole. I really have no clue, but here I am sharing it with you because I actually think it’s kind of cute.

6:55pm// Waiting in anxiety… I haven’t seen him for so long. Suddenly my stomach churns and I want to bolt out the door. And then I remember that it was my idea that we meet and catch up. Stupid, I kick myself mentally. And of course I just had to be early. I cannot fathom why it is not in my nature to allow myself to be fashionably late. Wouldn’t it be cool if I were to step in the café in all my (hopefully) gorgeous glory with my shiny hair whooshing beautifully in the wind; I gracefully take off my dark glasses and spots him in the crowd, mouth open, staring.

Wait, there’s still time! It’s still five minutes early of our meeting time… I could go and hang out for a while at that bookstore across the road… just one last gulp of this coffee and….


The bell hanging on the door rings. I freeze midway of standing. My eyes are locked on the doorway. I plop back in my seat. There he is. He steps in, looking around at his immediate surroundings. He probably hasn’t been in here for a while, he looks unfamiliar with the changes in the décor. He’s wearing a light brown shirt. He’s stayed fit, I see… Actually he looks quite built. His hair is blown by the air conditioning. He takes off his sunglasses and slowly looks around, searching.

My mouth is open. I’m staring. In a blink I struggle to correct myself, checking my hair, my clothes, my poise… Oh God, he saw me. I haven’t fixed up my makeup (or what little of it) yet! Oh crap… he’s coming this way… Oh why am Y such a messy coffee drinker?? I scramble to clean up the mess of tissue, plastic, spilled sugar and cream on the table. I scramble in vain. In five seconds he’s standing by the chair opposite mine, smiling.

Somehow, the only word my brain can churn up at that moment was the very intellectual, “crap”.



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