I sat at my table and I stared at them. I couldn’t take my eyes off them, a train wreck right here in front of me, the two of them. Oh, they walked into the coffee shop easily enough. They weren’t wearing guns, or bombs, or t-shirts that said “I blow things up” or anything no it was much worse than any of that, they found love.
Having absolutely no pre-conceived notions about love, knowing what it is, how it is helpful to repopulate the planet and all of that, merely it was not my cup of tea. Who would want to be in love, anyway? It is expensive to buy gifts for the other person on holidays and their birthday and usually it has been my experience they are usually not all that appreciated.
The two of them walked up to the cashier, giggling to one another, the man lost all of his testosterone and now a walking bowl of emotional pudding. It made my teeth hurt to watch with the syrupiness of it all. I wanted to get up, smack the man in the back of his head, and let him in on this huge mistake on his part. I stared at the two of them hand holding, staring dreamily into one another’s eyes, how close they stood. Love, sex, heat felt emotions. Yep vomit I pushed down into the back of my throat.
He slid in the chair next to me, all dressed in black that would make most Goth’s envious, if a Goth could get envious, that would show a real emotion besides looking for the best black eye shadow and lipstick was Walter. Walter pushed his hood back and took a deep breath. He looked at me and he got this annoying smirk on his face. Like he could read my facial expression or something and whatever he found it amused him.
“I love this time of year, don’t you?” I didn’t even bother to look at him I picked up my coffee mug and sipped my bitter, mud like coffee, and I didn’t say a word. “Oh, c’mon now, you must like this time of year, I mean if I can, how could you not?” I gave some serious consideration to throwing the contents of my coffee mug in his face, I realized that would only wind up getting him wet and I would be out a cup of coffee. I wasn’t all that sure it would be worth it.
“Oh, do be quiet would you, I am enjoying my dark roast blend, I have my health…” Walter interrupted me “And those two-young people are in LOOOVVVEEE.” I wanted to slap him, I turned and gave him my best stink eye. It was hard to give a stink eye when you had chubby cheeks and the face of a then year old even though you hadn’t been young in a very long time. “Walter, you are being cruel and what is worse you know that you are being cruel. Now, sit down, drink your coffee or, or, I won’t speak to you for the rest of the year. You like to hang out with me, especially in the summer so don’t press your luck.”
“You think you are being any better do you? You want to go over there and stab the two of them, don’t you? Right now, if you could you would walk right over to them and end their lives just as quickly as you would eat this apple fritter.” For a moment, he looked down at the fritter “Are you going to eat the pastry? I find I am a little peckish.” I pushed the plate over to him and he smiled. “Hold on, I need to get my coffee first.
Walter went up to the counter where one of the tribe that would have followed Walter into the gates of Hell had he asked took orders for coffee. She had on dark purple eye shadow, she had tattooed on her face a set of wings set around her eyes. Walter complimented her ink, she, all lost in his eyes, windows, souls I tried to not want to stab her. I personally didn’t see it, to me Walter, a man with not enough hair, way to skinny, and his voice always sounded a little raspy to me. What I liked about Walter? No one else really liked him once they got to know him. He was a little morbid, he didn’t nothing to hide that fact either.
Back with his large coffee, sitting down chuckling. “Beth is concerned I’m having too much caffeine, she is worried about my blood pressure and my heart, sweet isn’t it?” I sniffed in the general direction of his coffee “how many shots of espresso did you have them add to your drink?” Sniffing the drink himself “Just four today, I took into consideration what Beth had said, I didn’t want to hear a lecture on the perils of caffeine and how it can hurt me.” That I had to admit had me chuckling as well as had him smiling. I had never heard Walter laugh. I wasn’t sure that I would want to either. His smiled even when it wasn’t directed at me had been known to give me a nightmare and I admit to being mostly immune to things like that.
Walter started to pick at his apple fritter, I had given it to him, so it was no longer mine. I was still watching the Love Couple. “Maybe they aren’t all bad, right? I mean they are in love.” At that moment the girl had squealed and moved so she slid into her partner’s lap, he had wrapped his arms around her and they had started kissing, here in the middle of the coffee shop, and it turned my stomach. “No, they are horrid evil people and should be put down, or at least not permitted to breed.” Walter was shaking his head at me “And people call me dark.”
I had enough of all of this and picked up my paper coffee cup and pushed my chair in, I was considerate after all. “Walter, I’m heading out I need a bit of a vacation.” He got up to join me, chuckling “You say that every year, you never take one, you can’t find a place that you want to go.” Nodding, I was ready “Well, this time I found it, I am going to go on a senior citizens cruise, I qualify.” Walter was shaking his head “You do know that the seniors that go onto those things are on them to ‘hook up’ and have sex, right?” I stared at him. “What?” Nods “Yeah, I looked into that, a lot of seniors go on those cruises and wind up having a heart attack right in the middle of, sex?” He gave me a look where he raised his eyebrows a number of times, with all the eye shadow it was a bit disconcerting.
“What am I supposed to do? That would have been perfect.” He shook his head at me “You investigated the cruise while you were still on the job, didn’t you? So, you were all happy, not thinking straight, you had all those endorphins running through your system from doing a good job at work, right? Vacations are about couples, you wouldn’t be able to find any place to go that didn’t have someone that liked another person or worse was in love with another person. Face it, the only place you can go, and vacation is your home.”
I vehemently began shaking my head no. “I can’t, it is too cheery, it is too, well it is to RED.” I started to cry. Walter looked at me for a moment, surprised and then in an oddly uncomfortable but really trying to be a comforting gesture he put his arm around my left shoulder and I buried my head into his right. There we were on a street corner, outside of Starbucks. This is how I was on every February 15th, I hated love, I hated people, romance, couples, snuggling and sex. More often than not I was being comforted by Walter.
“There, there things will be fine, really, take a week and you will get your mojo back.” I sniffled, nodded my head “Don’t you have to go collect someone? I don’t want to make you late for your rounds.” Walter smiled at me and I wasn’t afraid of that smile in the least. “I can spare a few minutes for my best friend Larry. I know it’s hard being a Cupid, if people can’t wait for Death, well it isn’t like they are going anywhere.” He was right, and it wasn’t a bad thing having Death as your best friend.
I played around with this and thought it was amusing. Do you agree?