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Posts Tagged ‘tea’

You serve me with a smile. You really like me. I have fennel tea. For you, every customer has to be reckoned with. There’s solitude at home and then there’s company at work. You’re bewildered by my choice. Do I want milk? I don’t. Do I want tap water? Yes. You want me to stay and talk. You raise your hand and I’m a puppy to your instruction. Stay, stay. I wait and count your tips. Coppers and some silver. My drinks are here. You ask me with your eyes, Why not stay? Have a heart. Why not just stay?

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I am in a rush, I hear the sound of my footsteps, the wheezing of the automatic door opening, the selection of a basket, the apology from a small child and then the crinkle of packets. At the checkout, you have a yoghurt and a bottle of water and tell me you don’t like to eat. This information invites discussion. I am tempted to comment on your hipbones and the strain of your cheeks but I smile instead, tell you I adore the taste of hot tea, creamy scones with jam. I watch you count out £1.39 in small change.

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I step outside and you move away, think again and return to where you were. You’re on your mobile phone, you’re prodding at the keys and then you tell me I’m only hurting myself by standing in the cold instead of in the pub. I tell you alcohol is evil and I only ever drink pure green tea. You say that you used to have accidents when you drank cider, but the part that hurt was never the part that got hurt. I recommend elderflower, I praise freshly squeezed lemonade. You say life is too short not to choose Guinness.

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I trip over your chair, an embarrassing entrance, but it makes for an immediate introduction. We shake hands. You’re pleased to meet me. You describe things as wonderful or heartbreaking. Under the first agenda point, I volunteer a project idea. Pens scribbles and I write it down myself, to remember, to join in. You touch the collar of your leather jacket and speak of women in prisons. The air is full of tentative, eager exchanges, with something in it sad and regretful. I drink a peppermint tea. We all do. This speaks volumes about the type of people we are.

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