Tuesday, 21 November 2017

F Fic, Non-fic

Pastor Jerry and Jesus at the Bean Punk Café

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Today this young gal comes over and sits down all dejected with her coffee and bagel. They lean into each other and I have to sit real still to hear anything.

“Pastor Jerry, I don’t know what to do. He says he doesn’t love me like he used to and he’s thinking about leaving me. Well duh, we have three kids! Of course things are different.”

This is sadder than anything I ever heard at Louie’s. This gal’s pretty well put together. I can’t think why any man would walk out on a pretty woman and his little kids. I drain my mocha and the sugar buzz hits me about the same time Sue’s face pops into my head. Well God, isn’t that what I did? I left Sue and our twins and those kids aren’t speaking to me to this day. I want to stop by that corner window table, drop my card by the little gal’s empty cup and tell her, “Have your husband give me a call. I’ll wise him up.”

But the good reverend doesn’t talk to her about her husband. He doesn’t tell her what to do. Instead, he talks about Jesus, like Jesus is a real person who can do something about the situation. I heard some of this same stuff in my alcohol recovery program but not so personal. I mean, it’s almost like Jesus is sitting at the table with these two, listening to her tale of woe and pouring courage into her empty cup – not the kind of courage you get at Louie’s that dulls your senses and fogs your brain, but more like a sweet energy that helps a person run the distance.

When the young woman gets up to leave, she seems to be in possession of something she didn’t have when she came in. I’m not sure what it is, but somehow I think she is going to be okay whether her jerk of a husband gets it together or not. More than that, it seems she knows she will be okay.

Pastor Jerry looks over at me and smiles just as my favorite barista Marie sets a second mocha down in front of me. I rise to my feet, pick up my steamy brew and join him at his table.

“What’s your story?” he asks me, and we talk like people who meet on a plane and discover they have a mutual friend – one he knows a lot better than I do.


Sydney Avey lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Sydney blogs at http://sydneyavey.com/on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life. Her novel, “The Sheep Walker’s Daughter,” ISBN 978-1-938708-20-6 will be released from HopeSprings Books on December, 2013.

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