The Short Version:
The purpose of this blog is to provide fun, light-hearted reading material for those random moments in your day when you need a little distraction, a quick procrastination break, or something to read with your morning coffee.
I will post new material every Monday, because that’s the day when the majority of us most need a bit of humorous fiction to help ease us back into the work week. In All Stories, all my stories and articles will be archived, so that (hopefully) you’ll never have to read the nutritional material on the back of your biscotti wrapper, or the graffiti carved on a sticky Starbucks table, ever again. Happy reading!
The Long Version (Otherwise known as “The Professional Coffee Break”) :
I strolled into a coffee shop the other day, and realized I didn’t know what to order. I had only ten minutes before I had to get back to work. A long line of surly, caffeine-deprived customers -some of whom looked as if they might be dangerous- waited behind me. The pressure mounted.
The bored-looking teenage waif behind the counter (who appeared to have a safety pin embedded through the middle of his tongue) made things easier on me, by sighing loudly and looking at his wrist. He wasn’t wearing a watch. But I got the message.
“Hi,” I said quickly. “I’d like a cup of coffee. I’m not sure what kind exactly, but I like when the milk is poured into the cup in a sort of swirly pattern, so it slowly blends into the coffee and turns it liquid gold. With one of those tiny cookies on the side, please.”
The waif looked offended.
Feeling that I might have insulted his (potentially delicate) coffee-making sensibilities, I smiled, in an attempt to be charming. (Which is difficult for me at all times, but particularly in the mornings.) “Sorry,” I said. “It’s just that I’ve been picturing this cup of coffee since 6 am. It’s the only thing that gets me through the day, and I want it to be perfect.” I laughed to show that I’m not an annoying fussbudget, but in reality a very sympathetic, amusing sort of person.
The waif raised an eyebrow, which seemed difficult given that it was heavily weighted down with what appeared to be baubles in the shapes of skulls, curling his lip as if to suggest that he was neither sympathetic, nor amused.
“Do you want anything else?” he inquired.
“Well,” I said. “Now that you mention it, yes. I’m craving a little something on the side.”
“A muffin?” said the waif.
“No, that’s not exactly it …”
“No, it’s not that either. It’s more of a mental thing: not nourishment for the body, but for the mind. A shot of poetry, a side-serving of laughter …”
“A cinnamon roll?”
“Obviously you and I are not engaging in a successful form of communication this morning,” I told him. “But yes, a cinnamon roll sounds delicious. And,” I added, as he scooped the fragrant, sticky bun into a white paper bag, “I don’t suppose I could order a story to go, with my coffee?”
This is when he looked at me like I was a lunatic escaped from the local insane asylum. When a person with a sharp piece of metal lanced through the middle of his tongue appears to think that you (as opposed to himself) belong in a mental asylum, you know you have a problem.
I took the cinnamon roll and left.
But the coffee and the pastry didn’t satisfy my craving. They were delicious, yes. The coffee was fragrant, savory. The cinnamon roll pulled apart in just the right way. But the truly transcendent, professional coffee break isn’t just about taste: it’s about mindset. I want to be distracted, for those brief ten minutes, from the stress of my day. I want to be entertained. I’ve spent the morning taking orders from my despotic boss, while listening to my co-worker describe her nephew’s bladder condition in the background, in intricate and unnecessary detail. Surely I deserve to be distracted, however briefly, from it all?
This blog is for those who, like me, crave a helping of story with their coffee. When you stumble into the office on a Monday morning, a healthy dose of light, humorous fiction will await you, to be enjoyed during your coffee break, those stolen moments of procrastination between conference calls, or whenever you need a bit of leisure. Have a story with your Monday. Enjoy your coffee break in style.
Jessica Scalise is a comedic writer of film and short fiction. After graduating from Stanford, she attended film school at USC on the Jacob Javits Fellowship, and graduated with her MFA in directing in 2009. She has since time in Portland, OR and Orlando, FL, with her trusty laptop and a mug of tea.
© All writing on this site is the original and copyrighted material of author Jessica Scalise