Compact, not tall,

dark-haired, not bearded

but not freshly shaven;

dressed casually but well in

jeans broken in but not trashed,

striped ring-neck tee,

grey suede grown-up trainers;

attractive but restless.


Like me, he’s procrastinating.

Backpack unloaded,

textbooks and legal pad

stacked neatly on the table,

laptop out and open,

ready for action, but…


He goes to the bar to order a coffee–

he actually has questions about it–

then back for a glass of water,

then to the door for a quick peek outside;

sits but then goes over to some other students

at another table

to borrow a pen, the one thing

he apparently forgot.

and then back to the blackboard

at the counter to check the wi-fi

info so he can check his email messages.


Finally settles at the laptop,

typing a bit, staring a bit,

but the half-smile turning to a grin

suggests it’s probably Facebook, not work.

He gets more serious, reads his notes,

goes back to the laptop, back to the notes

(never to the textbooks),

drinks most of the coffee,

a little of the water,

packs it up to head out.

During all this, I have

watched him.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper


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