CJ meets You

You’re at the diner, enjoying your favorite breakfast… No, not the sweet one you order at that one place because they make it better than anyone else; the healthy one that falls into the category of healthy solely because it’s not the other one. It’s the beginning of the year and you’re still adhering to your new years resolution to be healthier; eating less junk, drinking more water, and wearing the little gym key fob on your key ring with pride, instead of using it as a shameful reminder of the money you’re wasting not visiting the gym you pay for. Your dad said he gave this newfound resolution a total of two weeks, but it’s half way through February and you haven’t broken yet. Suck it dad!
You’re scraping a piece of food onto your fork when I walk in. I stop and stand in the doorway for several seconds as I scan the room. I’m tall, about six and a half feet, and thin. I’m not noticeably fit, but I look like maybe I used to be; like my new years resolutions didn’t last quite as long as yours did and I recently gave up.
My eyes lock with yours. I raise my brows, lift my chin in greeting, and smile. I juggle a few items in my hands as I raise one and wave awkwardly. You raise your brows in return and smile politely as you scoop a fork full of skillfully balanced well balanced breakfast into your mouth. You glance down at your glass and are reaching for it when I drop a stack of notebooks on the table and settle into the seat across from you. I smile brightly and exhale a deep sigh. I seem a little out of breath and maybe a bit nervous.
“Hey!” I say. “Sorry I’m a little late; the bus crashed into a horse.” Your brows furrow at me and I see that you’re confused. I raise my hand to wave away your concerns. “Not a real horse! It was paper machete, for a high school parade.” I shake my head and dismiss the topic. “Anyway, I’m just going to jump straight in to this, okay? I’m kind of nervous about sharing my work and ideas so I’m probably going to ramble a little and speak quickly. Okay? OK. So; you know that old sitcom with the guy, the girl, and the two other guys, where the guy lives in an apartment across the hall from the other guy, but the girl and the other other guy live off in their own places. There’s a mail guy. M-a-i-l mail, and he hates the main guy and the main guy hates the mail guy, and they eat at a diner a lot to talk?” I pause a second, seeking recognition in your eyes but all I find is confusion mixed with mild satisfaction at the taste of your food. “The three guys and the girl, not the mail guy; they don’t eat together,” I clarify, then continue.
“Anyway, do you remember that show? It was pretty popular. I bring it up because of the show’s premise; it was a show about nothing. Like, that was it! There was no epic story line or major plot points; every episode depicted a fairly normal guy with fairly normal friends dealing with fairly normal, mundane life. That was the genius of it! Everyone could relate and see themselves in those situations as these characters poked fun at daily conundrums and trivial issues. No reason, no purpose, just the humor of day to day life.”
I pause a moment and look at you again. You had something you wanted to say but it seemed like I was going to keep talking a while so you had taken another bite. You glance from me to my notebooks as you chew, then back to me. You shrug your shoulders in a questioning fashion.
“Tha- that’s kind of what I’m looking to create. Just a normal, everyday character with everyday problems of today’s world, back with observational humor and ridiculous situations from real life stories and events. But instead of a TV show, it’s a blog. A written sitcom in blog format… A writ-com!” I pause, trying to hold back a grin which just leaves me with a tight half grin that seems awkward. This seems to only confuse you more. I frown as my terrible word pun gets no reaction. You open your mouth to say something but I don’t notice and I keep talking.
“Sorry, yeah. So, this guy, the main character, is a Wedding Planner on the weekends, and a Delivery Driver on the Weekdays, and about all the weird thing that happen at these events and deliveries. Tables catching fire, drunken Mothers of the Brides, prank phone calls, frat boys… And he has very dry, sarcastic wit and reacts to these events. He would have friends and assistants and other characters, probably?” I shake my head and wave a hand dismissively. “Details. Anyway; normal life retold as if it’s some big joke. Normal guy. Normal life. Normal events that are ridiculous but so common no one bat’s an eyes.”
You’ve set your fork down and rested your hand on the table. You’re determined not to have food in your mouth the next time I pause. This seems to be that time, so you raise your hand, pointing a finger to the sky to ask for a moment to respond, and you open your mouth. You say the first words that come to mind.
“Who- uh… Who are you?” My brows furrow at your question as confusion crosses my face. I raise a hand and touch my chest.
“I’m… Uh… I’m Chris?” It seems to be a question, as though you couldn’t possibly be asking such a simple question and I must have misunderstood. “We have a 9 am appointment so I can pitch my idea and get your opinion?”
“I think you have the wrong table… I’m just here for this food I like.” You shake your head as you motion to your half empty plate. I look at your plate and frown. It looks good, but it’s the news, not the food, that has me frowning.
“You’re not… Pat?” My voice has dropped a few levels in volume as I seem a bit lost and more than a little embarrassed. You shake your head and assure me all is fine as I apologize while gathering my notebooks. I stand and wait by your table a few seconds as I scan the room. I notice an individual across the Cafe sitting alone at a table. They’re well dressed, with a leather portfolio beside their coffee on the table. They check their watch as though impatiently awaiting someone’s arrival. I apologize again as I leave your table and cross the room to meet them.
You shake your head, amused, and turn back to your food. It’s half gone but your drink is empty so you order another. You get a few bites in before the waiter brings a new cup and you sip at it tenderly. Before long you’re scraping up the final remnants of food and delivering them to your face. As you sit back to enjoy the final, perfect bite a loud voice breaks the relative silence of the room.
“Is there a Pat here?”
You sit up and turn in your seat, just as almost everyone else in the Cafe does the same. You see me, standing beside my new table with an annoyed looking individual staring up at me. My face is tinted red as I realize I’ve summoned the attention of the entire room. I raise my hand in an apologetic wave to the room.
“You Chris?” A voice raises from the other side of the Cafe and you turn to see another solo individual a few tables away from you. “I’m Pat!”
A few individuals applaud ironically as I lower my head and cross the room. I offer you a thin, tight lipped grin, raising my eyebrows as I pass by your table and sit across from my destined company. You notice there is an empty third seat at my new table. You check your watch and see that you have a lot of free time; you’re very far ahead of schedule. You weigh your options… Are you curious enough to rise and join Pat and I in our journey to a new blog? Or do you head out and get an early start on your day?
Leave and stay ahead of your schedule:
You get up and walk out. You didn’t pay your bill OR tip the waiter. You’re a terrible person. You go to jail and die of dysentery caused by bad prison food.
Take the empty seat:
I smile at you, a bit excited that you liked what you heard so much that you wanted to hear more. I introduce myself as CJ, and I buy you a drink.
(to be continued)

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