Dean took an outdoor corner seat at his favourite café and powered up his laptop while he waited to order. It was a glorious day, a few clouds in the sky; the air crisp and clean and he had the place mostly to himself. Perfection is what it was.
The waiter came and he ordered a latte and then opened a Word document and got to work. Ten minutes went by, and then fifteen and he leaned back and closed his eyes and let his mind go blank. Just a bump in the road, nothing to worry about he thought.
A few tables away two women sat down and were talking in low voices. He was downwind of them and could just make out their conversation though he did his best to ignore it.
“I don’t know Andrea, I shouldn’t be doing this but I can’t seem to help myself. Every time I’m away from him I tell myself I’m going to break it off but then I just can’t make it happen.”
“Susan, he’s a married man. Worse than that he’s a gangster. You’ve got to try harder. God only knows what he’s mixed up in. Your life could be in danger.”
He opened his eyes and looked at the screen again, trying to ignore the sound of their voices. If only he could concentrate. He took a sip of his latte and shook his head in an attempt to clear it. Deadline approaching. Best not to think about it too much.
The foot traffic on the street was light. Out of the corner of his eye he saw someone in a rabbit costume roll by on a unicycle. He took another sip of his latte as people on the street pointed and stared at the rabbit.
There had to be something…concentration, that was the key. He just needed to focus. He wasn’t having any luck at home, that’s why he had decided to try the café. Why wasn’t it working? He leaned back and rubbed his eyes as the sound of squealing tires not far away filled the air. A sickening crunch and then a strangled scream rent the air. People were gathering on the sidewalk not far from his table. Great, more distraction, just what he needed.
Evan would be joining him soon for lunch. He had hoped to have something concrete in place before hand. He looked at his watch. Less than an hour till he arrived. Damn. He hunched over the keyboard and frowned. Maybe he should just start typing. Free-associate a little. Might help.
Ten minutes later he looked over what he had. Rubbish. That’s what it was. He pounded the table in frustration and ignored the look from the two women discussing the affair. It was just so maddening. This shouldn’t be happening. He called the waiter over and ordered another latte. More caffeine that was the ticket.
He deleted what he had and started over. He was just beginning to think he had something when an alarm went off down the block. He heard the sound of squealing tires yet again, this time followed by the wailing siren of a police car. He heard someone in the street say it was a bank robbery. Was there no end to the madness? How in the hell was he supposed to get anything done?
He put his hands over his ears to drown out the noise and closed his eyes for a few moments. When he opened them Evan was standing there grinning at him. He was early.
“Hey there dude, what’s the haps? Got a headache?”
“Hi Evan. No, not yet anyway. Just trying to write a story, got a deadline looming.”
“Oh. Writer’s block?”
“Yep. Can’t think of a damn thing.”