because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Friday, 24 February 2012

I'm being bullied by a 70 year-old man.

So the cafe I normally go and write in every morning- the one with the fit grey-haired man who I have yet to find the nerve to smile at, let alone talk to- has been closed for renovation. This means I have had to seek cappuccino-and-vagina-writing solace elsewhere.

I picked a cafe close to work because I had never been in it when more then 4 people had occupied tables, so it was quiet enough to work in, and it meant that well. I was was close to work. The place is run by two old guys who in my imagination I call the Thin Old Man and the Fat Old Man because my imagination is tired from inventing synonyms for the word fuck and producing detailed fantasies of how Ryan Gosling would be all, 'Hey girl...' in a conversation opener that would undoubtedly conclude with me sat in his face. The bar is also totes my favourite of all the places because they once gave me free chocolate.

Yes, emotionally I do operate like a seal: I'll clap and do tricks if you feed me, otherwise I'm just not bothered.

I arrive at 9 a.m. every morning, and stay until just before 1. I like to order more than just a coffee because that takes the piss, right? To occupy a table for four hours with a one euro coffee? So on my first day there I led with coffee and a croissant, and then after an hour and half requested colazione numero due- breakfast number two, which made the Thin Old Man laugh, so I figured I was okay to sit for a little while longer.

On the second day, at about ten thirty, the Thin Old Man approached my table and said, 'Colazione numero due?' and I laughed just like he had done the day before and said okay because evidently, we had a private joke and this made my insides happy.

On the third day I ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice in between my two breakfasts, which I took right after my first bathroom break. This seemed to confuse the Thin Old Man but to his credit he rolled with the plan change and made sure to tell me he had given me the best oranges and that this juice was the best of all the juices.

By the fourth day, juice wasn't an option but was mandatory, and so by day five my day was set out as:
9 a.m. Arrive and have first breakfast of cappuccino and croissant.
10.30 a.m. Toilet break and a fresh orange juice.
11.30 a.m. Another toilet break and colazione numero due
12.30 p.m. Free chocolate and a glass of water
1 p.m. Select something for lunch, pay, and go.

The Thin Old Man and I have developed such a relationship that now he doesn't even ask me if I want Breakfast Number Two anymore. I arrive, sit down, he brings me a croissant and luke-warm cappuccino so I can drink it right away, and I set to work. Then I know when to take my toilet breaks because he tells me, because now he knows my schedule. And when I get back, fresh orange juice, or breakfast 2 with a slightly hotter coffee this time, or a three-course meal fit for the first-born prodigal son of saints is waiting for me.

It's all quite lovely, in an overbearing sort of a way.

Except that now, I'm not allowed to change my routine. It's been two weeks in this new cafe and when I arrived late one day because I'd been Skyping with Mama, THE GUY WAS TOTALLY PISSED OFF AT ME.

And it threw out the schedule, so that I needed a toilet break only an hour after I arrived, which meant I ordered my orange juice 30 minutes early, and then when I ASKED for collazione numero due instead of WAITING TO BE TOLD IT WAS READY he huffed and puffed and now I feel like I've upset my grandad, which means that even though my inclination is to be all DUDE. IT'S MY BREAKFAST AND I DECIDE WHO AND WHAT AND WHEN really I'm just afraid that if I say the wrong thing he might have a heart attack and die because he really does look quite frail, and so I'm stuck in this cycle of DO AS HE SAYS, LAURA, juxtaposed with FUCK OFF, THIN OLD GUY WHO I CAN KNOCK DOWN WITH ONLY ONE PARTICULARLY STRONG OUT-BREATH. But then I see him all old and thin and guy-like behind the bar, polishing his glasses, and I just let him tell me what to do because if I don't, well. What if I kill him?

I can't have that on my conscience.

Also: I don't have any granddads of my own, so I am loathe to give up this imaginary family that I invented in my head.

Also: yes, the family whereby Ryan Gosling is the father of my children and my grandfather is the old guy who makes my coffee.

So I eat the pastries, and the chocolate, and drink the two cappuccini and the glass of water and anything else Granddad decides I should have because I am too afraid not to, and all the time I do it knowing that I had a bowl of cereal before I left the house so basically I am eating an entire day's worth of food before noon and there is not a single thing I can do about it except act like that is totally normal and that I don't mind at all.

Okay, it is totally normal and I don't mind at all.

And that's the story of how I became even more of a chubby little food-lover. NOT. MY. FAULT.  



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