I’ve been trying to explore different ways of telling stories. This was my first attempt as using coffee ordering. The aim was to write a 500 word piece of flash fiction just in coffee orders. I’m relatively happy with it, and might well come back to the technique.
By Jason Gibbs
“Can I have a tall, by which I mean medium, skinny: you see not only am I trying to lose weight, but also it turns out I’m slightly lactose intolerant, and actually since I started having skinny I have far fewer stomach cramps, though in all honesty I’d prefer it if you had goats milk, decaf: a few years ago I gave up caffeine for a couple of weeks as a test to see what it did, and I had two weeks of headaches and feeling like I had a fever so I haven’t touched the stuff since, in fact I think I’ve been caffeine free for over three years now, except once when someone accidentally gave me a cup and my heart started racing and I started feeling paranoid, really, it was horrible, never again, it’s evil I tell you, latte: yes I know it’s a weird Americanised version of an Italian drink which is only really had at breakfast in Italy and even then is considered more for kids, it has milk in it after all, but I like it, though I’m starting to wonder if I should have a white Americano, because I think it’s the espresso I like and not the milk, and what with the intolerance thing, and the lack of goat’s milk, I wonder if that would be more sensible, but in all honesty I’ve ordered this so many times I’m not sure I could really change.”
“Yes, could I have a grande: what we used to call large, it’s for my boss who’s too damn lazy to buy his own coffee and thinks he’s a big man, both in size and organisationally so should have a big coffee, soya: after he heard about my lactose intolerance he had his checked and it was apparently much worse, so he has soya even though it churns his stomach, mocha: because he can’t admit he doesn’t actually like coffee, with an extra shot: as he thinks that makes him seem more macho, or possibly because he heard his boss get an extra shot once and thinks it’ll help in his campaign to get to the top. Oh, and also extra hot: I’m not sure he knows what this means, but he asks for it, in a kind of, look at me I’m hot aren’t I kind of way, and his secretary rolls her eyes.”
“Cream on the mocha?”
“Yes, obviously, the guy isn’t actually lactose intolerant, and he hates the soya, so he always says yes to the cream and then pretends he only has a bit. They used to ask about sugar too, but I don’t think even they would agree to add the seven teaspoons he has to have to stomach the stuff. I suggested he have tea once and he nearly ripped my head off.”
“A tall, skinny, decaf latte and an extra hot grande soya mocha with an extra shot? Can I have your name?”