You were hired at the store where my wife works, and saw me bring her a cup of tea every day at lunch. One day, you remarked, in front of others, Gee, I wish I had a boyfriend like that. I just smiled, a little tongue-tied. As the daily routine went on, I saw, or imagined, you sneaking a glance as I brought my clockwork cups, then looking away. Later, they put you on as a cashier, and I sometimes wound up going through your line. I didn’t attempt to start a conversation, other than saying Hi, but one day you said why are you looking at me that way? I reddened a bit, and asked what you were talking about. Nothing, never mind. As I brought the tea each day, I began to get a little apprehensive, wondering what you would say next, and it wasn’t long before you were waving and saying things like Hi, Hubby, did you bring my tea? , so I started thinking up clever response lines, taking it lightly and enjoying the joking repartee. After several of these exchanges, I said “listen, what do you take in your coffee? I’ll bring you one.” You looked embarrassed, as if I had called your bluff, but told me anyway. Must have thought I was joking, because I let a week go by. Then I brought one in and slipped it behind you at the cash desk, and kept walking. When I left the store, I went by an alternate route, but you spotted me, held the cup aloft, and called out Hubby! You didn’t!
People looked. I did this only the one time, because I thought it had embarrassed you, and I didn’t want to cause trouble. Lots of snickers now, and amused glances, whenever I came in with the wife’s tea. She knew that I had made a friend, and was a little uncomfortable about it, but didn’t raise a fuss . After all, anything more than clever clowning around would be most inappropriate, considering you are old enough to be my granddaughter. But, a year later, actually last night, my wife and I were at a Christmas party that you happened to attend as well. She nudged me and said “Your sweetie is here”. I stood up, reddened again, and you gave me a big hug. Hi, Hubby.
You, maybe with daddy issues. Me, in a late-life crisis? What could go wrong?
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.