The Dark, Lonely Coffee Shop

This is a short story piece where craft was more of the focus. I wanted to play around with anaphora, which is starting sentences with the same beginning repetitively. I also wanted to try out writing longer sentences. I really like how this story came out. I’m hoping to expand upon it one day so look out for it. Enjoy!

The Dark, Lonely Coffee Shop

In that dark, lonely coffee shop on the other side of town where few people thought to venture—mostly out of made up fear—sat a lonely, middle-aged man whose wife of twenty-two years had passed away prematurely, who had both moved to the neighborhood immediately after being married, before hard economic times and the rezoning of school districts sent their long-time friends, and neighbors, all white, running for Florida where they could retire early from their union jobs and enjoy the benefits they built up over the years without worrying about being taxed into oblivion, despite the fact that Florida’s Republican governor’s lack of approval for universal healthcare and desire to deny global climate change while denying the more frequent superstorms that were slowly, and surely, destroying the coast, where the majority of the sixty-five-and-up crowds, including the lonely, middle-aged man sitting in that dark, lonely coffee shop on the other side of town’s friends and former neighbors, lived.

In that dark, lonely coffee shop on the other side of town where few people thought to venture, the lonely, middle-aged man ordered a small coffee, dark and black, which reminded him of his late wife who had prematurely passed away while fighting cancer for over six years, who had always told him she believed that black coffee was the secret to her living and being able to fight for so long despite the circumstances, who ultimately passed away anyway, but the lonely, middle-aged man was unable to let go of those words because he knew, and was able to see, that his wife truly believed what she had said, that that cup of coffee held more weight than the chemo, which made her feel sicker, and the endless pills of various shapes, sizes and colors. In that dark, lonely coffee shop on the other side of town where few people thought to venture to, the lonely, middle-aged man was reading a folder given to him by the doctor about possible treatments that were all too familiar, but he read them as if it were the first time because a part of him still couldn’t believe that his late wife had actually passed away, and then instinctually ordered that small coffee, dark and black, knowing that there was no reason to rush back home because all of his friends and neighbors who had moved to Florida were still gone, and even if he had gone home to call them and inform them of the news, no one would come back to the old neighborhood because that fear they all shared still existed in their minds, and how would the lonely, middle-aged man whose late wife of twenty-two years find peace from anyone other than his late wife’s words and voice that always calmed him, like on those dark, lonely nights after his friends had run away to Florida?

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben says:

    This is great. I’m going to have to give anaphora a go

    1. Try it and see what happens! It’s a great exercise for whenever you want to focus on structure. You have to think about each sentence carefully so you don’t ruin the flow of the story!

      1. Ben says:

        Will do. I’ve been writing 50-word stories and enjoy the restrictions they pose. Thinking about trying some of the Oulipo experiments too. Restrictions give freedom, in a perverse way

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