He stops, repeats in machine gun or whatever language he's speaking in; then decides to look over his shoulder. Eyes scanning near the back, I just know…yep there it is.
Me, yes of course, I was the whole cause of the scoffing.
He gives a look of disgust while sizing me up, critiquing my wardrobe, haircut, wrinkled up oily face; the image produces superiority from having taken what must have been a fortnight to style himself that morning. Lifting his chin only to turn and proceed to order three more drinks.
There is no way… no fucking way he's ordering three more drinks.
No way had the half deaf, googly eyed, we feel sorry for the handicapped so we let her work here for pennies on the hour and claim it as a tax write off, midget interpreted the first drink.
I must have said at least the last portion of that aloud. The woman in front of me had turned her head and the face she made was half shock and half horror. Though, for the record, I believe that she was thinking more of the shock at how she felt the same way.
Her look asks me "what are you going to do about it?"
Glancing back with a frown explains that I am going to attempt to fix it.
I'm always late for work ; I never have time to give myself a second look in the morning. It's not that I'm sleeping in or anything like that, it's just that I always get distracted.
Something better is always happening, somewhere in hyper-real land. Nowhere near me, my job or my problems…so I lose myself, ten minutes or so, twenty sometimes, in another place. Possibly happy.
The line moves a bit, shuffling from side to side.
Front of the line is done ordering; now he's waiting. Other people begin to order coffee and it begins to function like clock work again. He starts to leave; his hands and the better part of his forearms are filled with drinks.
Sometimes I believe in a God and I'm let down.
Sometimes I believe in a God and I'm pleasantly surprised.
I feel it start in my left nostril; a twitch works its way to the right, then both. Upper lip is coiling, quivering. I am perched to let loose a torrent of spit mucus covered in smoke dust.
I don't stop it, I time it out.
Front of the line passes by and I let loose, moving strategically to the left.
Like JFK footage, hitting my mark. For a second the world is slow.
I feel my arms go numb from hitting recycled brown cup holder, coffee, and skin.
The sneeze reverberates around the lobby.
Jowls flapping open, eyes wide at the possibility of ruined three hundred dollar pants and designer t-shirt that could just as well now be considered a rag to clean up his yappy dogs ass with after it eats some Christmas ribbon. The chaos of liquid enters the air. Luke warm creamy foam, coffees mixed with sugar free syrup in the air with Jackson Pollack precision. There is a chorus of gasps at the scene. I pull back into the line, as I do my peripherals catch the eyes of the woman who was standing in front of me, I smirk.
From down on the floor I hear the start of soft sounds, sobbing.
"What would you like to drink sir?"
Medium coffee, please.