With precision

When he looks up from the table, it becomes apparent that he is much younger than his white hair and pale eyelashes would indicate. He is muttering to himself as he lines up seven packets of sugar on the table. One by one, he places the packets in his left hand. He taps the packets gently against the table to square them in his hand, adjusting them with precision. He tears them open all at once and quickly empties all seven into his coffee.
This continues with the seven creamers he has lined up next to his cup. Picks one up, shakes it, pulls back the lid, pours it in, taps it three times, pushes the lid inside the container, licks the singular drop of cream off the index finger. Then six more times, identically, including the lick.
He only stirs once.

14 Responses to “With precision”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I love how you truly notice people, Jen – and then convey your observations so wonderfully.

  2. shari Says:

    Well if he stirred more than once he might actually taste the coffee. Can’t have that…
    Jessica’s right — you are a master of observation and re-telling. Neat little vignette!

  3. brandon Says:

    i have no idea why, but this reminds me of something i am sure you don’t remember. you, jill and i were sitting on a bench in millenium park and an old couple, very obviously in love, walked by holding hands. jill said something about how sweet it was, and i blurted out, THEY ARE TOTALLY HAVING AN AFFAIR.
    i’m not sure if i notice the right things.

  4. asia Says:

    that last sip shore is going to be sweet. gag.

  5. You can call me, 'Sir' Says:

    OCD does have it’s lovely orderly side, if you can look past the sides that drive one insane.

  6. You can call me, 'Sir' Says:

    OCD does have it’s lovely orderly side, if you can look past the sides that drive one insane.

  7. jenny Says:

    jessica: thanks – you make my voyeurism sound really nice. :)
    shari: i’m not sure you’d want to taste this coffee. and thanks!
    brandon: OMG – i totally remember that! but in your defense, you probably really had to pee when you said that.
    asia: he probably had to chew it.
    sir: it’s fascinating to watch… from afar.

  8. just bob Says:

    How can you taste the coffee with all of those sugars and creamers? Ick.

  9. jewelz916 Says:

    And did he order a side of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to go with his coffee?

  10. Hilly Says:

    I could just sit here all day and swim in your “word pool”…and uh, not in a stalkerish way :).

  11. delmer Says:

    Well, it obviously wasn’t James Bond on a coffee break. He’d have shaken it … not stirred, even once.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    Thank you for changing the gender of this character to protect my identity.

  13. heartache heartburn Says:

    I am so tempted to count the words in this post. I have recently read several 100 word posts that paint the perfect picture. You did just that with this post and used so few words to do it. Wow! What great writing.

  14. jenny Says:

    just bob: seems like he doesn’t much like the taste of coffee itself.
    jewelz: it’s true – but i was totally fascinated by him.
    hilly: well, gosh, woman – you’re teh awesome for saying that! and you can swim here anytime – thanks!
    delmer: i’m pretty sure james bond wouldn’t hang out at the train station mcdonald’s either. :)
    vivian: we both know that if this were really about you, i would’ve mentioned seven napkins lined up to wipe off the seven drops of creamer. ;)
    HH: thanks so much for the kind words! and you made me curious, so i counted: 142.

Leave a Reply