Sunday, February 25, 2007

Johnny and Doris - Part I

I wrote this very short story several years ago. Cleaned it up a bit for posting here. It's a bit long for one installment so will be done in several. Thank you.

Leaving the building, he realized he had forgotten his umbrella. "Damn It! It sure looks like it's going to pour."

A diner was a block and a half away. As John entered trying to shake himself dry, his stomach growled. He glanced at the menus hoisted high above the long grills, deep-fryers and stainless steel counter space. Perhaps they had an all day breakfast or maybe just a coffee and a slice of pie. Sure, that was easy.

John waited patiently in line. When he arrived at the front, his eyes locked with those of a thin and weary woman, maybe 20 years his senior. Her name tag read: "Doris" and had white lilies patterned above the plastic pin that indicated her identity.

"What'll it be?" she sighed.

"What kind of pie you got? Fresh."

She threw him a long stare just to see if he was being sarcastic. Instead, she saw John's rather focused expression, like he was awaiting news about the current rainstorm on the radio, hanging onto the forecast as if he had plans later that afternoon to go sailing of play baseball in the park.

"Apple and blueberry, if you want cherry, you come tomorrow."

"Apple'll be fine," John nodded as he took a seat at the counter nearest to the ordering station, gingerly removing his soaking jacket to avoid dampening a nearby customer. Doris brought him his order and he ravenously dug in to the pie like he hadn't eaten in days. Then he slurped back his coffee and wiped his mouth along his shirtsleeve.

"That was impressive," Doris smirked. John returned her cheerful advance with only a blank stare. Doris straightened in demeanor. This guy was kind of strange. She had never seen him in the place before. They kept a pretty regular clientele. In this part of Brooklyn there were lots of places to choose from so Doris liked to think of all her regulars as family. Not that she wouldn't treat any newcomer like this guy any differently, it was just harder to joke around and gauge their reactions and this one was a prime example. "Can I get you anything else?" she inquired politely. John shook his head.

"How much?"

"Two eighty-five."

With that, John threw a crumpled two dollar bill and a handful of change on the counter and left. It had stopped raining and he could now walk safely home without his forgotten umbrella.


Psychosomartyr said...

A reflection on your writing that I am now craving pie with no reasonable way of satisfying that craving?

Patient Anonymous said...

*laughing* psychosomartyr!

So far you're the first person to comment and it's about pie! I suppose it is rather late where you are so nowhere to run out and grab something?

Stay tuned...part II coming up next.