The rough marks worn through the rich brown table and the familiar scent of black coffee is what I’ve grown to call “home”. I’ve come to this coffee shop for years, though I’m sure no one really knows my name. I’m just a face that comes and goes. I mean, there wouldn’t really be a reason for them to remember me, it’s not like I’m someone important. In my own mind I am, but I can’t see myself being memorable in anyone else’s.
The thought of being forgotten has always bothered me… I want to be remembered through the ages. What I really want is to live on forever so there’s no reason for remembering because I only live around the corner… but death is inevitable. The Grim Reaper always finds his way, always finds the soul in need of collecting.
I’m young though, there’s no reason for me to be worrying about this, but still, the thought never seems to leave my mind. It’s always there… Just floating right behind my eyelids, like a ghost that doesn’t know where else to go. I don’t have anything else to think about to occupy my time so I often roll the thought around in the palm of my hand. Turning it over and over and over.
“Mavin!”, I hear the baritone voice of the newest barista call.
I push back my chair and stand. I don’t think I’ve ever really handed out my real name before; it’s always been something new. New name, new coffee, new me. Hah! I wish it were that easy to just drop your name, I’d have a new one every time someone blinked.
I walk around a few tables similar to the one I always sit at, but they’re slightly different in their own way, just like people are. The barista holding my coffee is looking around, probably thinking the wonderful drink in his hand has been stood up. I wonder how many drinks people leave behind; I wonder what they do with them.
I’m gaining ground and I don’t think he’s noticed me yet, but I’m at the counter now and he seems surprised that I turned out to be who I am. That exact facial expression, shock mixed with a happy kind of surprise is how, I believe, most people crave to be looked upon.
Maybe the new barista expected a tall, lean, red head with a scruffy looking beard and pale skin… Maybe he was expecting a short brunette with a leather jacket and a phone super glued to her hand… But he didn’t get either and maybe he’s shocked for the change of scenery. I’ve got to say, I’ve always enjoyed being what people think I’m not.
Some people think I have my life under control, that my life isn’t a massive earthquake waiting for the right moment to strike and make everything rip at the seams, that I can handle it, because that’s who I am… the girl who is always okay, the girl who can control any situation.
But maybe… I’m just looking too far into things, like I always seem to do. The barista wasn’t expecting anything, he’s just surprised at how Mavin is a guys name and here, standing before him, is a pale, blonde girl with the rosiest cheeks you’d ever see, no matter how hard she tried to cover them up.
“Mavin?” he sounds worried now, no longer surprised. I must have zoned out when I fell into my own inner monologue.
“Yeah, that’s me, “ a laugh. “Sorry, didn’t mean to disappear on you.”
“No… oh! I-I mean yeah. Yeah it’s cool. I was a little worried for a second,” he let’s loose a rough chuckle of his own, “I thought you left planet Earth for a minute.”
“I tend to wander off into my own head sometimes, no need for worry.” A small smile seemed to place itself on my face without any sort of permission.
“That happens to us all sometimes…” If only he knew that’s where I always was, where my world existed. If only I didn’t confuse which one was where I belonged sometimes. “Oh! Here-here’s your coffee. Sorry, didn’t mean to hold it hostage for a minute there. Tell me if it’s gotten cold and I’ll fix you up with another one.”
I carefully take the coffee, making sure our fingers don’t touch and take a careful sip. Not burning hot, but also not the disgusting warm coffee gets when you remember last second you had a cup waiting for you while you lost your mind in a book.
“Perfect.” I give him a smile and turn on my heel, striding back to my rich brown table that has it’s own special personality.
When I sit down I actually let myself look at the new barista, I hadn’t actually noticed him before he called out my “name”. He looked as if he were the “American Dream Boy Next Door” and “Hipster” at the same time but different, like some middle ground that hadn’t really been discovered yet. He, now labeled as Barista Boy in my mind, has sun highlighted brown hair that’s been cut in the most popular looking way possible (hence the American Dream Boy), and green eyes that seemed to glow with happiness. I’ve often wondered how someone could really be happy enough to glow, that just seems inhumanely possible, but I’ve seen it happen. For heavens sake I just saw it, but I still doubt it.
I doubt it all.
Back to Barista Boy though, his skin is again another battle. It’s not quite pale but also not quite tan, it seems to be a whole shade of its own. He doesn’t seem to have any imperfections, which makes me resort to thinking he must be some sort of robot or secret agent come to figure out what hipsters actually do with their time.
I wonder what kind of life he lives. If he’s secretly a monster that murders the innocent in his spare time and collects their teeth as souvenirs, or if he volunteers at an animal shelter because he feels bad for all the sad pairs of eyes hidden behind caged doors. Maybe he leads a whole different life all together, one full of secrets and lies that appears golden on the outside, or he’s a shallow box that holds nothing but the basis of life… a wasted opportunity of greatness.
There’s simpler ways to figure people out, but over analyzing them seems to be the best route for me since I’ve never really been good at making conversations. Though, I feel like Barista Boy could make that conversation appear out of nowhere. Maybe he could make the ripped seams my soul is made of whole again, but that’s all a dream. It’s all a fantasy I made up while lost in my head.
I pick up my coffee and take a sip. It’s gotten cold... Like I forgot about it while reading a book
Like I forgot which world was really the one I belong in.