Tales From the Café: Familiar Faces

(Alternately titled: You Probably Think This Post Is About You)

Time: Friday, 8:55 pm

It was finally almost closing time after an incredibly hectic day. Zöe had locked the front door, and all but the last few tables had filtered out. Despite the chaotic nature of the evening, I was in a good mood. None of my tables had been nasty, a couple left very nice tips, and my leg had finally stopped hurting from where I smacked it into a corner almost a week ago now.

I must have been humming under my breath, because I looked up from my sweeping and saw Kacey grinning at me. “What?”

“Is that one of your new songs?” It was no secret that I was a musician, and I’d lately been buckling down on actually getting some original stuff written. “I like it.”

“Thanks. Yeah, it’s a tune I’ve been playing around with. Doesn’t really sound right yet, though.” I’d been having trouble getting the bridge right. No matter what I did, it wasn’t flowing to my ears. And if I couldn’t get the tune right, I’d never find the words. It was the one part of my creative process I stuck to without fail. Music before lyrics. I’d ended up with too many pages of lyric notes without tunes that way.

A knock at the door spun me around, and I grinned as I walked over to open it up. “Hey there, Patrick. I think Zöe’s in the office.”

He shrugged and waved to Kacey and I before heading off to the office. Patrick had worked here in the kitchen back when I started, and still came in on a few occasions when we were short-handed, but I guess his new job had been keeping him busy, since I hadn’t seen him lately. At least job or not, he’d still stop in sometimes to see his girlfriend.

A moment later, both of them walked out and perched at the bar, talking about something I couldn’t quite hear. Kacey looked back at me, leaning on the other broom she was using. “What’s this song going to be about?”

“Not sure yet.” I smiled to myself. “Not all my songs have specific meanings or subjects behind them. Sometimes it’s just about an idea.”

“You should write a song about the café!” I laughed, and Kacey spread her arms. “What? You totally could. People write songs about places all the time.”

“Yeah, but I’m not sure I’ve exactly got the next “Alice’s Restaurant” in me or whatever,” I replied. “Besides, what would I write about?”

“I don’t know. You could write about us. I’ve always wanted to be in a song.” One of our last tables must have caught her eye, because she ducked off, giving me a pointed glance as she left.

I just shook my head and swept up my crumbs, walking back over to the bar. Zöe looked up at me. “New song?”

“Mm-hmm. Still very early on. Kacey wants me to write her and the café into a song.”

“You should put me in a song,” Patrick said, completely deadpan.

I blinked, but bit back a smile. “You don’t work here anymore, though.”

“So? I can still be in a song.”

“Mmkay, Patrick. Sure. Song just for you.” I let the smile out just a bit as I cashed out a check I’d forgotten I had in my apron. “Or hey, I can write a song about back-of-house, and how it’s always different people back here.” Well, some have stayed the same, and I’m wishing on any lucky star I have left that the ones we have stay…

“I just want to be in it.”

“Okay, Patrick. I’ll start working on it.” I mean, this tune needed a topic, yeah? I guess this is good as any…

(Author’s note: This is one of the first (if not the first) story I’ve invented almost whole cloth. Chunks of this conversation never happened, and the rest has been changed a bit–since I would feel funny having Hunter being a writer as well! I’m a musician too, though I don’t write my own work, so I feel it compares well enough. 

But hey–I told you I’d put you in. I even got close to the name you asked for. So now you’re here. 😉 Happy?)

I’m eternally grateful to my co-workers for supporting my little stories on my blog here. Thank you all, for the support and the inspiration.









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