“Band for Beginner”. The faded torn paper gave her little hope. She slid back into her wooden chair and squirmed its corner legs and ground the remaining coffee beans into the gaps between the floorboards.
Tattered postcards and pop art collages covered the worn out walls where the renovator ran out of funds or time. How much would it cost to rent a small café in the middle of down town New York? How many of these customers were regular?
“ Double short black, the usual.”
“ Here, skinny soy.”
“ Two to go- no sugar, extra frothy.”
“ What’s the beans? Work’s coffee sits on the brewer all day. Tastes like water- logged school shoes.”
School, now how long ago had that been…? The twenty-year reunion was scheduled sometime next month. A hope in hell. With nothing left to bite and chew at the end of her so called ’writer’s nub”, she glanced around at the special’s board. The blackboard prized a swanky neon white block print; at least some things were permanent.
She edged her way through a clutter of tables with satchels spilling out notepads and text books-all kicked under. Who was she to talk, just one glance in her wallet, filled to the brim with receipts, she’d never claim for. There were ripped envelopes; lids with stained addresses and a plastic Australian currency ravelled between the wide crisp green notes, as well as her son’s first tooth wrapped in a blood stained napkin. Was he still waiting for his tooth fairy to tuck his fortune under the pillow? Wasn’t that what good mothers did?
What were her son’s thoughts that morning when he found his tooth taken from the vegemite jar on his dresser and replaced with a blue envelope, with his name handwritten in her childish scrawl? What explanation had his father offered when it was evident she was not coming back.
New beginnings, that’s what it was about. She breathed in the thick cloud of grey, with a hint of white milky streaks; awakening her voice box, and tentatively dialled the number into her phone. She saved it under “D” for dreams, anything to give her hope.