What Do You Do?

I’ve been writing at Las Palapas for two months now. I know all the waitresses by name. They know I like chipolte salsa. My coffee cup is refilled so often, it seems bottomless. If I change tables, someone will ask, “Different spot today?” They know I try to keep my back to the flatscreen because it’s tempting to veg out to CNN or Sports Center, closed captioned of course.

No comment is made about my laptop or the printed, scribbled-over pages that make me squint. But my friends know I’m working–just like they’re working in their friendly efficient way.

After two months of coffee and breakfast tacos followed by two hours of staring at my MacBook, Gregarious Dee, who is a constant source of encouragement and caffeine, can’t take it any longer.

“I have to ask. What is it you do?”

“I’m a writer. I’m writing a novel.”

“I knew you were a writer! I knew it!” She topped off my coffee cup. “I want the first book when it comes out!”

“You’ve got it, Dee.”

That was enough. She was off to deliver chips and salsa to the guy at the next table.

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