by Emilie Collyer
All he did was stop for a coffee.
Tuesday morning, city square. Autumn sunlight bouncing off the little canal they built into the concrete pavers. The smell of promise in the air. Autumn in Melbourne always smells like promise.
His grey suit, nice cut, looking like he forked out a bit for it. Maybe he’s on his way to an interview. He’s nervous. Low self-esteem. The shoes are worn but polished and just a bit too much after-shave scent trailing in his wake. Soapy, with undertones of cigarette smoke. Hands shaking gently as he wraps them around the cardboard cup, flicks the lid off, blows on the coffee.
It’s one of those pretty coffees. The barista has taken care, drawn a delicate swirl in the crema, shaped like a love heart. If the guy had looked closely it might have been warning enough. But only if he’d recognised the symbol. And why would he? He was a regular guy, with ordinary hopes and petty fears, feeling a bit flat on a Tuesday morning, wanting the buzz of a caffeine lift.
He wasn’t one of us. Read More »