Will 5 minutes do the trick?

Hi there! This is “Kimolia” writing. We’re a little backstreet cafe in Plaka, Athens, called “Kimolia Art Cafe”. Among other things, we enjoy writing (a lot!). So, for that reason we kicked off these stories, some of them in Greek, others translated in English as well, for your entertainment. Stories about and related to coffee mainly, with some hints of fiction or reflection here and there. We are happy to accept your stories if you would like to post them with us, with your name on them of course. There goes nothing! We hope you’ll enjoy this.

Photo by Jacob Townsend on Unsplash

She took her coffee, she sat on the chair, looking outside the open window, at the small road in front of the cafe. She didn’t use to spoil herself. Her daily routine was specific and deviations were not allowed.

But what she was doing at that moment, this was out of schedule. It was her own personal ritual. She would go into the small cafe, casually offer a “good morning” to the guy working the day shift, and ask for her coffee as usual.

She had the coin at hand and she put it on the bar without accepting the change. He would give the coffee to her, together with a vanilla biscuit. She would smile politely but would always return it to the pile with the rest of them. It was a waste of calories to eat that thing. She would take the lid off the paper cup, add some cinnamon and then would go to sit next to the window.

Not for long. Five minutes were enough. Like an athlete that takes a break in between her sets. She would “bench” herself for a little while, as the others outside the cafe, would continue marching around. She would gaze through the window to the passers-by, getting to their work. Probably similar work situations like her own.

A gentleman in his fifties, with his grey suit, his briefcase in his had and his newspaper under his arm pit. He imagined him having a family, with his children in the university, or struggling to get into it. He seemed so tired. Like he was, in that moment, counting the days left for his retirement party. “4.223 and today”. Like a soldier serving his time. A different “service”, a more obligatory (if sth like this can be said) service than the one in the army.

And then, a girl in her early twenties, with a backpack. She imagined here as a fresh graduate from some school of architecture, working at some office, doing minor chores for the lead architect. Measuring and mapping old buildings, waiting for something better, collecting experiences. Just in case she manages her own project at some point.

She imagined herself like that, some years ago. It seemed like it was yesterday when she started at her first job, and now, a decade later, she was still struggling with the constant feeling that nothing was really as it was supposed to be.

Money was not enough and trips didn’t come as frequently as she had expected. And when they did, it was mainly for work. And what about him? Well, he was elsewhere. In essence, he was in a parallel universe. Equally oppressed and depressed, but in the end, lost from her.

Both of them, in a continuous postponement for something better, the ideal situation of “tomorrow”. And still, if tomorrow for the rest of the world was always a day away, as the song goes, this “tomorrow” that she was expecting, was farther away. Just like someone was holding “tomorrow” in front of her face, tied in the end of a rope, hanging from a big stick. She could never reach it.

But this didn’t keep her from hoping. Today she had worn her favourite dress. An orange dress with horizontal black stripes. The weather still retained summer’s freshness despite the fact that October was almost over. “Even winter is waiting for a tomorrow that never comes”, she thought to herself. And right there and then, her thought process stopped. No more analysis. No more delay. Her five minutes were up.

She approached the cup to her nose, she smelled the coffee with a deep inhale, trying to get all the caffeine as far within as possible! She had a sip and she stood up. She waived to the guy at the bar, lowered her black sunglasses over her face and started walking to her office.

“Tomorrow” was still far away, but till then, these 5 minutes were enough. To be exact, they should be enough, at least until tomorrow…

Nikos Palavitsinis

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In the business of hosting people, serving them and helping them create memories. Established in 2011, still in existence, in #plaka #athens #greece

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