In the previous excerpt, Marv met Allison for the first time, At the Bookstore. We now catch up with Marv the day after.
Marv spent most of the next day working on his humorous stories at his local café. He occupies the corner table whenever possible, with the window parallel to the street on his right and the back wall of the café directly behind him. It gets great light, but more importantly it reduces the angles from which other customers can watch and hear Marv trying out his material, as Marv often whispers lines to himself and sometimes gesticulates for no one else’s benefit.
He usually decorates his table with a notebook, pen, and pencil, his glasses case, the one or two books he is currently reading, and maybe a magazine, with a pair of earplugs at the ready just inside a zipper pouch of his backpack.
Marv had been at the café about an hour when his favorite employee Sam, a cute art student in her early twenties with blue eyes and blonde pink-dyed hair, arrived for the afternoon shift.
“I think I’m going to need another nonfat cappuccino over here,” he announced from his table with a wholly unnecessary urgency, scanning the small café for acknowledgement as he waved the empty cup above his head between thumb and forefinger.
Sam’s laughter echoed as Marv nodded and smiled at the other customers in the café who had briefly become his audience. After he absorbed their attention he got up from his table to talk to Sam.
Her smile widened as he neared the counter. “Hey, Marv. Looks like we’re out of your muffins today.”
“What!” he shouted, failing to keep a straight face. “The low-fat blueberry and banana brans?”
“You’d better make that cappuccino to go.”
“Yeah, right. Like you’d want to leave just after I got here.”
He compressed his lips and stared back at her as he tried to think of a rejoinder. “Shit,” he conceded in a loud whisper, assuming a stance of defeat.
Sam started laughing again.
“No, I actually grabbed the last one before you got here.”
“Oh, good,” she said. “You didn’t actually want another cappuccino though, did you?”
“Of course not.”
As Marv was eating the sandwich Sam had made him, he heard the woman at the table in front of him crooning along to the music in the café.
“Yeah, there’s no singing here,” he said. He waited for her to turn around and see he was joking, which she did, and got a laugh from her and the others within earshot.
Marv packed up his bag and put on his coat. Usually reluctant to return to his apartment in the afternoon on account of his susceptibility to napping (especially after having just eaten), he actually felt quite energized after making some progress on a scene. He came to the counter on his way out to say goodbye to Sam.
“Got any plans for the rest of the week?” she asked, twisting the moisture out of a rag over the sink.
“It’s actually an unusually eventful week for me. I’m having dinner with a buddy of mine tonight, and I’m going on a date tomorrow night.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No, but that’s nice Sam. Thanks.” He smirked as she laughed adorably. “Though I can certainly understand the skepticism. It has been a while.”