Where it all began

August 19, 2011
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Apart from its fairly good cinnamon buns and mildly attractive coffee barista, there was nothing special about the little café. It was nestled between two of the multistory brick buildings that one thinks of when they picture Amsterdam, that is when they manage to see around the pot smoke that they imagine leaking from all the city’s pores and crevices. The reflection the building cast in the water was broken by the elm trees that lined the sidewalks, and smudged by the occasional wind or passing boat. But every shop and apartment in the city could evoke the same description. No, the café was only special to Angie Hartman, and only in retrospect.
Angie was sitting at a table near the window, as it was one of her many personal philosophies that you should not be inside if you cannot at least see the outside. Her feet were tucked under her, and she cradled her chai tea in her hands. Bright yellow was the color of her jacket, a desperate attempt to keep the autumn at bay and hold onto summer just a little bit longer, despite its inevitable passing. Angie was rummaging through a stack of Polaroid pictures, adding them to the many piles that were already scattered across the table, along with three empty teacups. The worker behind the counter eyed them, but must have thought it best not to disturb her.
Most of the pictures were of people; some candid, some posed, but all very emotional. And not emotional in the traditional, smiley face, frowny face kind of way, like those refrigerator magnets that have all the faces, and you mark how you are feeling that day. The pictures all managed to capture the culmination of an emotion, the point in a laughing fit when you cant breath, or while crying when you choke on your sobs.

Angie ran her fingers through her hair, and tapped her them agitatedly against her head. When she removed her hand, her hair stayed puffed out to the side. After staring almost unblinkingly at the mess of photographs for a few moments, her arm lashed out and grabbed one. Her mouth made a slight o as she let out a sigh, and leaned back in her chair. The tension seemed to clear from the room, and the other customers went back to their coffees and newspapers, for each of them had been watching her progress out of the corner of their eye. She had that effect of people.

The barista hurried over. “Finished?” Angie nodded as she cleared up her things. “Perfect, I’ll take these out of your way!”

“Sorry I took up the table for so long. I didn’t even think of the inconvenience to you.” Her eyes met the floor rather then his face.

“While you were distracted, and it’s fine. Good luck.” He motioned at the picture.

“Thanks, I need it.”

Once outside the café, Angie unlocked her bicycle from the tree she had tethered it too. She caught a glimpse of herself in the water, oh jeeze she though, why does anxiety have to have the same side effects as humidity.





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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Anon14 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm
I think this is fantastic and a great start to a longer piece. I love how it's not a serious piece, and is very easy to relate to, even though you're not quite sure what is going through her mind with the pictures. I love your description, you don't overdo it but they are very vivid.
 
RLindsay said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 8:41 am
Thanks so much everybody :D
 
motormouth7 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 8:37 am
This is a great start! The imagery is top notch; you paint a detailed picture without over-describing and boring the reader. Good job!
 
AnnVallier said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 8:33 am
The descriptions are so perfectly in depth I can 100% see the scene and feel the mood. I'm anxious to find out what she was doing with the photos! 
 
Anonymous_7 said...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm
Great story! I like how you describe everything. Keep up the good work!
 
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