Red Brick Banana Break


I walk to get a sandwich. The sandwich and the coffee shop selling it is around the corner.

red bricks pushchair scooter short red bus

The slope is gentle but uneven. Drooping trees. Curling leaves are starting to cover the ground. My feet crunch a few as I step into But Coffee First.

grey paint pale wood shiny lamarzocco smile teeth fringe ropy hanging lightbulbs

Mini stacks: saucers, shot glasses, paper cups. No sandwiches. I get a soya flat white. Disappointed. Not much of a break without food. Fringe offers a banana. No charge. How lucky. The dream. Banana flavoured coffee.

I sit. Large table and there’s three of us. It’s tight. I’m stiff in my coat. Sweating in the sun by the window. A reader to my left. A typist on my right. Soon it’s roasting. I’m sung. There’s a sigh from the left. Something’s wrong with her typing. She stops. Stares at the screen. The reader talks to the fringe. It feels the small space. We’re in the female changing rooms. But we’re not because I have coffee and I can’t pretend to pack my bag and pull up my tights. I listen.

“What else can I do?”

About what? Where? When?

“It’s going to have this thing called The Stack.”

“The fruit salad is beautifully arranged all the time. If that’s what’s important.”

I relax. Fringe is a talker. Perky. Nice. I zone out, look around. Finish my banana.

Tapping music muttering to the right. The sun goes in. I should get back to the library. Up the slope and around the corner.

red brick short red bus up the stairs inside

I stand.

“The fruit salad is beautifully arranged all the time. If that’s what’s important.”


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