She — a long curly haired, porcelain skinned, twenty-something — is one of those people you might see in the corner of a small coffee shop. She’d gaze over the lid of her laptop, then type fast as though the words from within her can’t make it out quick enough, then gaze again. A notebook beside her, open to a page covered in a slightly sloppy cursive that one could barely read, even if they tried. Her coffee, cold and forgotten, sits there in a melancholy state and her phone, buzzing like a busy bee waiting for replies. She still types away.
If you look up from your book and watch her long enough, you might see her crack a smile as she writes. She just got to a good part. Enjoy that and let her enjoy that. Enjoy it before the anxiety comes back and strips it away only to leave fear of the words not being good enough to satisfy the readers on the other side. If you knew her well enough, you’d know that she has a too high of a respect for the art of literature. That whatever she makes she scrutinizes harshly. Her words barely make it out into the light of the day.
Lifting her hands away from the beaten keyboard, she combs back her hair between her fingers away from her face and rolls up her indigo sleeves a quarter below her elbow. She stares at what she has just produced on the page, neither pleased nor dissatisfied. Looking around, she comes out of the story and back to the room. The clamor of small talk and sent of roasted beans makes for a nice welcoming back into reality.
She grabs her bag, closes her laptop and notebook, and stuffs them away. Realizing her coffee that was left for the cold, she takes a last sip and dumps the rest of it in the trash. The bells on the door cling as she opens it, and out she steps, into the cool October air. She walks away.
You almost go back to your book until you see a little slip of paper on the table where she was sitting. You get up and nonchalantly walk over to see what it says. You can tell it was from her because it held the same sloppy cursive that was between the pages of her notebook. It reads:
I saw you watching me. Don’t worry, I wrote you into my story.
You look out to see if she’s still in sight, but she’s gone. Lost in the wind, an author by any other name.