Better than coffee?

Posted: January 24, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , ,

Continuing the story of Frank, the garage watchman. The last line I wrote was “Frank read books. So far, he hadn’t watched any DVD’s at the garage, yet.” Picking up where I left off…

He put down his duffel bag behind his desk, sat down, and unpacked The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson, and, after rush hour was done, and he didn’t expect to see anyone until close to lunch, he was reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. He also liked comic books. There weren’t any series running that had his interest now, though, and the new editions weren’t coming out for another two weeks. Today Frank was feeling a little too tired to start off with Friedman, so he went to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. He was about halfway through and loving it.

About half an hour rolled by fast. UPS stopped by to drop off a box for his boss. The guy chit chatted for a minute, then got back on the road. UPS kept their guys on a clock, so Frank heard somewhere. Frank smiled and watched the guy go, then put his head down over the desk and went back to butt-kicking his way through Sweden alongside Lisbeth Salander. He could become totally absorbed in the books these days, like studying for a test. In this case, studying for a test on how to kick ass. It was better than coffee!

Frank remembered the smell of coffee, in this room. It had mingled with the old, library smell of the carpet and the tinny smell of the desk in a wall that tasted funny, but he’d liked. He hadn’t had a cup in three years. His doctor made him stop drinking it because the caffeine was bad for his heart. Frank had almost told him to kiss off, that he would drink it anyway and drop dead. His near heart attack had changed Frank’s mind. He would still linger in the coffee aisle at the grocery store, and he liked going into Starbucks, with his wife, so that he could get the coffee smell but she would be there as his conscience to keep him from drinking.

Seven o’clock. Rush hour was starting. Frank locked the door of the office and put up a sign that said “back in 10 minutes.” There were trash cans on each floor that had to get emptied, daily. Frank had never seen one that was more full than a grocery store bag, but rules were rules. If it sat for a week or more it could get gross, one, and two, the last thing he needed was for some smart aleck to go dumping a huge pile of garbage that he’d have to clean up.

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