Open Mic Night – 28 Oct 2009

Hy paced like an expectant father in a maternity ward waiting room, hands shoved in pockets, head down. Occasionally hy would lift hys head to look around at the people mingling there. Every now and then, hy would stop hys pacing and lean nonchalantly against the wall, hys arms folded across hys chest, hys expression revealing nothing.

Hy glanced at hys watch and somewhere in hys subconscious hy realized hy was hungry. Hy had plenty of time to kill so hy wandered off in search of food. The hunter stalking, hy thought and chuckled quietly. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC … nothing sounded good. Finally hy climbed the stairs and chose a table in one of the better eating areas.

Hy smiled up at the waitress who laid the menu on the table and asked for a mug of coffee. Usually hy preferred milk and sugar, but today hy asked for black and sweet which seemed to take in hys emotions nicely. Not that hy was feeling depressed, hy wasn’t, but hy was uneasy yet at the same time happy.

Hy looked up just as the waitress walked over with hys coffee. “Thanks”, hy said as hy reached for the packets of sugar. “Would you like to order now, Sir?” Hys inwardly flinched at the assumption as hy always did but didn’t say anything to the girl about it. “Two eggs over easy, mushrooms, hashbrowns, sausage and a double order of toast please.” She nodded and walked back to the kitchen.

Someone had left a newspaper on the table next to hys and hy stood up and picked it up. Hy missed the days when you could read a paper and enjoy a coffee as well as a cigarette, but times had changed and laws were laws. Hy glanced at the headlines and shook hys head, wondering if they would ever pull all the troops out of the desert war, then thumbed through till hy came to the crossword page.

Reaching up to hys shirt pocket hy muttered a curse. It wasn’t like hym not to have a pen. Hy caught the eye of hys waitress, made a mime of writing and grinned as she nodded, picked up a pen and walked over to hys table. “Your food won’t be long, Sir. Can I get you a coffee refill?” Always fishing for a decent tip these girls, hy thought. “Sure, that would be great, Thanks.” Off she went to get the coffee pot and some more milk and sugar.

When she came back, she softly cleared her throat. Hy glanced up and grinned. “Nothing like a good breakfast, right?” “Oh, I never eat breakfast” she said, offering no explanation. Hy ate in silence, daydreaming about the rest of the day. When hy had finished, hy motioned the girl over and handed her a £10 note. Enough to cover the bill and a good tip. She’d earned it.

Hy took the newspaper with hym and walked back downstairs. It was getting crowded. Hy looked around for a chair and sat down. Forearms rested on thighs as hy opened the paper again and began to read. Not that hy would recall any of it, hys mind was on other things today.

Finally, more out of boredom than necessity, hy laid the paper on the empty chair next to hym, glanced at hys watch and slowly stood up. Hy ran the fingers of both hands through hys short cropped hair and walked over to the wall. Turning hys back to it, hy rested hys shoulders against it, slowly raised one booted foot and placed the sole of it agains the wall, hys arms folded defensively across hys chest and hy waited.

Now hys stomach was churning, hys guard was up and hys eyes moved quickly. Hy was on full alert and only one thing would stop that. The people around hym were loud almost to the point of annoying at times but hy took hys mind to another level and blocked it all out. All of a sudden it happened. Hy had expected it but perhaps not that it would hit hym like a brick wall.

Hy smiled as hy caught sight of her and knew that everything was going to be okay and her returned smile told hym hy was right.

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