Archive for the 'Fiction' Category



“Good morning. How are you?” I said, walking in off the street.

I kept the earbuds in, but I turned the volume down so I could hear myself speak. Also, if he said something, I could avoid the embarrassment of tugging them out of my ears to ask him to repeat some pleasantry or other that would only sound awkward and unnecessary in the repeating.

“How are you?” he said.

“Ok,” I said. Then I thought to say more, and I lingered slightly. “It’s Friday,” I added. “So that’s good.”

My voice sounded especially nasal. Is it always this bad? It was almost a whine, weak, hesitant. I talk too much out of my head and not my chest. Far too much of my life is spent in my head.

“Yes it is,” he said.

He had an intensity in his eyes, a directness, that I wished I’d matched in my tone. It was nothing, just his way. And this was my way. It was only a “good morning,” but it was all I would have occasion to say, and I felt like I’d blown it.

I ordered the usual iced tea and lemonade. I still could not bring myself to ask for an Arnold Palmer. And I grabbed a granola bar from the bowl on the counter and silently added it to the order.

Thinking about Monday morning, I watched him pour from both pitchers.

the untallied hours