(Note: This is a massive departure from my normal writing, in a big way, but I wanted to write a short story inspired by events that occurred last night.)
My coffee grows cold. I’ve been sitting here for hours, trying to get the rest of this writing done but I can’t wake my brain up anymore. It’s almost three in the morning, I’m exhausted and my motivation is fleeting as my lizard brain takes the helm, begging for sleep.
Then they walk in.
It’s a couple like any other. It’s a tall lanky guy in an ironic t-shirt and tight jeans. The thick frames of his glasses do their best to hold in his ego but fail as his self confidence spills over the top. The girl is silly. Ridiculous cleavage, zebra tights and flip-flops.
They’ve both had a few as they’re louder than most and quick to chat. The guy sees some people at the coffee shop gaming and asks questions. A conversation about gaming quickly breaks out. The girlfriend wants to join, the boyfriend asks her to stay out of the conversation.
I’ve found my muse.
She shrugs and asks the guy behind the counter for chalk. This coffee shop has a massive blackboard for a wall and she intends on creating. She goes to draw. It’s a sloppy smiley face with blue lips and ridiculously long eye lashes. And for reasons I can’t fathom, it appears to be crying stars.
She goes to shade it. The shading is rough. More like a solid shadow than a gradient, gradual shade. I see my cue and I cast my line.
“Is that honestly how you’re going to shade that poor creature?” I say, challenging her.
“I don’t really know how to shade. It’s not my strong point, I don’t think I’m designed too.” she said as her shoulders shrugged with resignation.
I stand up, leaving my laptop to fend for itself and walk over. “Nonsense, everyone has it in them to create as they see fit. They just need to understand how everything works and how it’s all connected.”
She looked confused. Good, that was the plan. She sees the bait.
“May I?” I ask as I grab the eraser. She nods and I undo her shading, leaving the outline and I begin to shade. Running the chalk up and down the shape, going lighter as I near the center, the smiley looking more three dimension and round by the minute.
I stop and wipe the chalk from my hands and approach her, it’s time to start reeling.
I hold my hand and ask for hers, “let me show you something. Give me your hand.” She complies and apprehensively places her hand in mine. It’s incredibly warm. Her pulse must be through the roof.
I turn her hand palm up and resting in my hand. My other hand goes to her elbow. As I push my finger against her skin, I drag my finger down to her wrist, I explain, “many people get too aggressive when they draw. That’s fine, but everything is going to lack depth and be unfulfilling. But tell me, what do you feel more, what I just did, or this?” And I reach my hand back to her elbow and lightly trace my fingers down her flesh towards her hand. Barely touching her skin as I move my hands.
She shudders audibly and said, “the s-s-second one.”
I look her in the eyes, and she looks back. Just for a second, and then she looks away.
“Exactly,” I said, “people often forget that if you know how to be gentle and move in the right way, you can create a more powerful feeling than you could with a single hard thrust.” As I said “hard thrust” I poke my finger against her shoulder for emphasis and I sit in my chair. She takes the seat next to me.
She’s biting down on the bait and doesn’t even realize she’s hooked.
“That’s the problem with a lot of the people out there. They just want to get out what they want to get out and they want to get it over with as fast as possible. They want to draw a base idea in broad, boring strokes and they just expect people to enjoy as much as they do. Rarely paying attention if people really do. But people need to realize you have to change it up. Sure, you can go at it with hard deep strokes, but that’s just the outline. When you get to the center of it all, you have to play. Get lighter towards the middle, don’t be afraid to just graze the canvas. You feel me?”
I look over to her for a response, she’s about three inches from my head. She says nothing and merely nods, her face is beat red and her eyes are so filled with sex that I can practically feel a strange bed sheet being disheveled in her mind. She sighs heavily, hot beer stained breath rushes pass me like a wave.
If I was the type of person I’d never let myself be I could reel her in all the way and take her from this dull lake of a man. But I’m not that type of person. I’m a recreational fisher. I just want her to know she could be caught before throwing her back.
I put the chalk in her hand, and she looks down at it. I say, “Now, I want you to go back over there and I want you to create.” And damnit if she didn’t create one of the prettiest murals I’ve seen in years. As she created, I went back to my laptop and flew through my writing. My mind awash with ideas and fully awakened.