Let’s Chat Over Coffee


A new project I’m working on. A Short Story with an aspiring guitar player, amateur conductor and a Literature Major with a troublesome past in piano playing. Any names that may refer to any celebrities are purely coincidental.

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Chapter One

The tinkering, chattering, and random yelling engulfed the coffee house as the perky blonde cashier gave an unknowing smile to the lanky, pale, and misanthropic Lit major. Tired of waiting for his large cup of black coffee from the coffee house similar as that famous green lady from Seattle, he walks over a free table and opens his MacBook, plugs in his headphones and just before he can hit play, a screeching cry from the blonde cashier calling his name, summoning him for his coffee. He glares at her, picks up the coffee, ponders on the chair, and blasts “The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie as he opens To Kill a Mockingbird to read it for the thousandth time.

Finally pleased that the lunch hour madness was behind him and he could read his precious book in peace, as he hears the doors open and he watches Bradley Pendragon enters the shop, and Colin dreads the next hours of his life, since Bradley goes to the shop almost every day as Colin. Colin rolls his eyes meanwhile Bradley yells at his mate Eoin, tackling each other as they walked toward the cashier who miserably failed at taking their order. As they wait for their coffee, Bradley and Eoin scope the room for new “future wives.” Bradley plays along as Eoin’s wingman while Colin watches in silence, judging them as Eoin tries to woo three college girls’ two tables ahead. For an instant Colin’s eyes meet with Bradley’s, and Bradley swears he knows him from somewhere.

After getting their coffee, Eoin and Bradley sit at a table and try to study for their lit midterm. As the hours run by, the coffeehouse dwindles except for the college students, and the blonde cashier stops trying to get Bradley’s attention. Bradley and Eoin express their hatred to toward Dr. Ellis, “the old Gaelic fart that could win an award for making literature even more boring than it already is.” Colin listens to their lament while sipping his third coffee and taking a bite of his peanut butter-filled bagel; he smirks, knowing that they wouldn’t last a day as Lit majors. He thinks of Bradley’s and how he can be a social butterfly but when it comes to literature, he won’t survive even if he had to define and analyze what an iambic pentameter at the sake of his life. He finishes his bagel and thinks that even though he doesn’t seem like the brightest crayon in the box, Eoin looks pretty hot. At the same time, he sort of loathes him for his amazing, swooshy hair. For what seemed like an eternity (but was actually closer to 30 seconds) he stares at man in front of him and his big blue eyes. For some reason his heart feels like it’s going to burst, his hands get sweaty and suddenly he needs to reach for his inhaler from he’s, for all the air in the world vanished and he can’t breathe. Trying to change his mind he starts to read his 30-page review, which he downloaded and printed, directly from Spark Notes and thinks why the hell Ellis gives this class. If only Prof. Torres gave all his lit classes…. If only…

Wandering aimlessly around campus, Colin arrives at the College of Music. In disbelief on how and why the hell he got there, he enters the building in search of a room with A.C. After walking down endless halls and nearly dying from an asthma attack after scaling the never-ending stairs, he reaches the practice room hallway. The rooms remind him of his middle school years, when his mum enrolled him in piano lessons for 6 years. Even though he was good at it, it wasn’t his passion and he was too much of a perfectionist to enjoy spending 5 hours every day in front of a piano. He preferred spending that time in front of his MacBook, watching his favorite shows while eating Jiff’s peanut butter and procrastinating.  Of course looking back, Colin figures that nothing has changed; he is the same procrastinating perfectionist from middle and high school, only that he doesn’t play the piano anymore.  He turned left at the end of the hallway and he saw a familiar skinny, slightly muscular blonde man. When he checked the cubicle, he noticed it was Bradley tuning a guitar. Colin’s bag crashed on the ground and observed in disbelief as Bradley place Albeniz’s “Asturias” on the stand.  Colin thought there was no way Bradley was that good until Bradley started to play.Bradley’s fingers moved on the guitar, and Colin stared in awe. After the first quarter of the piece, he heard Bradley curse; he had started playing without warming up. While he played the C major scale at 4 octaves, Bradley suddenly stopped and caught Colin staring at him opened-mouthed and Bradley glared at Colin; he hated when people watched him practice since in his perfectionist mind everything he played is not up par. Colin got the memo and picked up his bag, mouthed “sorry,” and almost ran away from the room and the building as if it had the deadliest disease known to man. Running away Colin’s mind races, his hands get sweaty again, as he tries to run from the music building with an incredulous face, thinking that Bradley can’t be a musician.  He can’t! He can’t play… and especially not guitar! Why a guitar for God’s sake! Why couldn’t it be piano? At least if it were a piano, Colin knew he would be better than Bradley. Why? Why couldn’t he be an engineering major? A nurse? Doctor? Why am I thinking of him anyways? Why is he so important for some reason? As Colin mind races, Bradley walked to the door, opens it, and finds Colin’s copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” on the ground. He opened the book and saw Colin’s number. He gazed at the empty hallway thinking, who the hell is this guy?

Asturias Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEfFbuT3I6A

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After Hell Week students finally get out of the library and dorms, and kill their already dead brain cells with alcohol. Colin goes to the local pub, orders a pint and some chips, and goes to the most secluded corner where he dropped his bag and takes out his limited-edition copy of “Les Misérables.” The book is in French, obviously, because in Colin’s mind a book should always be read in its language of origin. Translations suck and they can’t truly convey what the author wants.  As he turns the pages, pondering whether he should reread the book entirely or just read his favorite chapters, he watches his favorite Linguistic/Psychology major Rachel Trying to make her way through the crowd that was leaving the pub. However, at only 5’3’’ she failed miserably at trying to intimidate people to let her walk inside. Even though she didn’t have a model figure, she was astonishingly beautiful and had the brains to match it, her height being her only “flaw”. Colin didn’t understand why she was always single. She was a total catch! Colin thought as the girl approached Colin, he placed the book carefully on the table at a safe distance from his beer.

“OI, Cols! What’s up? Did you fail all those papers you had to write? Buy me a drink or I’ll tell everybody about Halloween and that you looked like Gaga, but instead you wanted to dress up like Merlin!
“HEY SMITH… calm your tits! I’ll get you a drink soon; first tell me about your midterms. And when are ~you~ going to buy ~me~ some drinks? You are a cash cow. Your dad is freaking rich! Just buy me booze every now and then, hell it could be in Thirsty Thursday!  Besides, you know that you drink like a sailor and I can get drunk easily. You won’t break the bank if you buy me a couple of Heineken, you know?” said Colin, lips curled as he drank the last of his beer and almost dropped the bottle in an attempt to be cool.

“Oh shut it! One of these days I’m gonna take you out and make you drink shots!” she replied with a smirk and

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you keep telling me that, but have I heard the date for this activity? ‘Cause you know that I haven’t.”

“Anyway,” said Rachel, “how’s your new guy friend? Or should I say guy-who-you-stare-at-every-time-he-walks-into-Starbucks?”

“Oi, shut it, you hag!” warned Colin as he smiled, “it’s not MY fault I’m in the shop everyday he goes there. I’m a lit major I need a place to crash when I’m reading, you know how Lance is; I can’t read anything in the dorm!

“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say,” said Rachel. “And besides, isn’t that your type?  Prat musicians with whom you can fight but also debate whether Gaga is the new God? And if I know that you wouldn’t (sorta) fancied him, if I didn’t took that chem class with him last-

“I loathe you, Rachel Smith. I. Loathe. You.”

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About theartofmusicalpoetry

I'm Jose Clavell, graduate student at Western Illinois University. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico alumni. Choral Conductor, Spanish teacher writer, foodie, and a blogger.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Poetry/ Literature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Don’t know why this guys reminds me of real ones I met before….love the first chapter. I transported myself to the coffee shop and even smelt the coffee Colin was sipping.

  1. Pingback: Let’s Chat Over Coffee (Chapter 2) « The art of musical poetry

  2. Pingback: Shorvel? “Let’s Chat over Coffee” Revival. | The art of musical poetry

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