The Patron

The Patron

A Story by Cherrie Palmer
"

at the Writer's Cafe

"
A candy-striped awning trimmed in black, its edges tickled in fringe, dances brightly in the breeze," many pass by with not so much as a glance; though, the tasteful entryway sweetly invites admittance. A brightly plumed pen graces the wavy glass window of a sturdy mahogany door, the elegant gold leaf lettering above it simply states, "The Writer's Café."
 
Finally, the stride of a patron slowed, and they peered through a thin lace curtain. Their smile offered must have been reciprocated from within because it grew wider. The door opened in silence, letting soft conversation come forth. The tables offered small intimate settings, and a long, friendly bar with red backless stools swept gracefully along one side of the room.
 
Here, at the café, you will not find tablecloths but poems laminated upon each table. These works are not selected for the authors' names, but because of one simple truth, they each stir the reader.
 
There is no waitress at the café … you must pour your own drink. While you're up, top-off the cup of the person next to you and strike up a conversation. Hopefully, you will be inspired to make a new friend.
 
Though, some enter out of curiosity to kill a little time, most carry words in hand, with some sort of device to make more. A day never passes without a poem being recited or alternate endings cast buoyantly into the air.

 Lining a windowless back wall is a row of booths. They are encased in mahogany panels making cozy little alcoves. In the far-left corner, the incessant staccato tickety-tack SOS sound of a typewriter sings its "end-line-ding, ziiip-return" chorused song. The steady stream of telegraph-like keystrokes makes the patrons grow restless. A quarter is tossed in the jukebox. Etta sings, "At Last." A few stop to let the music carry them far away; others set their pens in motion.
 
One might notice a simple man with curly brown hair who never reads, regales, or writes a word. Like a wooden Indian, he stands stoically by the payphone, with hat in hand. He may have even gone unnoticed, except for one small detail; he returns promptly every day at 1:00, leaving at 2:00. No one gossips about this daily occurrence, though, undoubtedly, an internal dialog occurs throughout the café. 
 
Today, as the man left, I watched his index finger trace along the edge of a poem on one of the tables. Curiosity washed over me; so, I strolled over to the spot where he'd stood, and like an echo in time, I, too, traced the place he'd declared. Then, poured myself a stiff drink. Slowly, I noticed a few more do the same. I smiled, certain we had all pondered the meaning, and in turn, began to write. 

© 2020 Cherrie Palmer


Author's Note

Cherrie Palmer
pull up a chair, I hope you enjoy this little story that Richard has helped me improve upon.

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Featured Review

Well, Cherrie ✍

It was an honor to be allowed to offer my 2¢, and I may have helped a little here 'n there, but it's your wonderfully-creative imagination and writing skills that caught my attention, compelling me to offer.
I've read quite a number of Writer's Café stories, treatises, and poems during the years I've served on this site, but none with the original twists yours portray.
I'd love to single out a line or paragraph, but every one is a vivid piece of an intricately entertaining and captivating mystery puzzle.
Lest I ramble on and wear my welcome thin, let me close by saying how very much I enjoy and respect your writing efforts.

Thank you ever-so gratefully for sharing them with Us! ⁓ Richard 🍃

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

Yes, I have tried several other writing sites and found them stuffy. They only review for enough p.. read more
Kay/Hayden

4 Days Ago

Ya i sort of like writing.com but its not active at all, I have been there for 2 months and only ha.. read more
Richard 🍃

4 Days Ago

Gee, Cherrie and Kay 😊

Thanks a million for all your lovely comments and complimen.. read more



Reviews

I like stories that begin suddenly and pull me in. Stories where the writer tosses me a cutlass and calls out "Watch yer back Matey." Silly, but maybe you know what I mean, no preamble no p***y footing around, just getting on with it. Now, I admit I have no idea what motivates the "mysterious stranger", and who cares?
Thanks for sharing.

Posted 1 Day Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Day Ago

I loved the idea of a mystery amongst a group of writers, and like you I like to just jump right in .. read more
I'm reading your story and the word that keeps coming to my mind is "interesting". It's an interesting story. Interesting setting. This guy with the curly brown hair is certainly peculiar.
Nice place you've created. It seems like a place I would like to visit. Nice setup. Clever name. How did you come up with that?
Why does the patron keep checking before they enter? What is it they are looking for that this place has. They seem happy to have found it whatever it was. Come on in. Have a seat. Interesting way of dressing the tables. Certainly nice topics of conversation. Something to read while you have your drink. People may take their time getting a drink with all of the stuff on the tables for them to read. Plenty to discuss. I wonder if people move around from table to table seeing what else is written. It'd be nice to have some waiters or waitresses to get people drinks. Getting up to get more may take time away from reading and discussing. Oh well. A little exercise never killed anyone. Then again, do I want to take the chance?
No waitstaff. No bartenders. who stocks and cleans the glasses? Who makes sure we don't run out of drinks. Interesting place. Patrons go in, get their drinks, talk and read. And be a nice person and top off the drink of the person behind you.
Plenty of reading. Maybe a cellar full of beer. This seems like a place that may have to throw me out at night. See people. Meet people. I've done that in bars. Met some interesting people and heard some interesting stories along the way.
A device for words. Is this a physical device or a metaphorical device? Are they writing something or is there feelings or emotions that inspire these words. Discussing stories. Alternate endings. Plot devices. There are worse ways to spend the time. Maybe even giving your opinion on a story and hearing another opinion on the same story.
Typewriters. I almost forgot about them. Why do people drown it out with music. If they don't like it, can't they just go to the front of the bar where they won't hear it? And who is this man who only spends an hour at a time.
I've thought of a place like this and always wished there was such a place. Maybe that's Heaven. Major League Baseball hosts a banquet every year. Only members of the Hall are invited. I wonder what it's like to be in that company. The people who attended you never met. The people there future newcomers will never meet. I think about sitting down with Machiavelli, Charles Dickens, Tom Clancy. People like that. Pick their brains. Seek their opinions. Their guidance. Their advice.
Good story. Thank you for sharing this.

Posted 3 Days Ago


Cherrie Palmer

3 Days Ago

I love your review, it is more interesting than my story. :) and as far as the story goes-
I .. read more
Greg Gorman

2 Days Ago

Happy to do it. I hope it was useful for you.
Very unique, never seen anything like it. You explain immaculately why so many of us spend hours of our day on this one website. I am very interested to know; who is this man who returns daily at the same.Love, Kay
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emersontimes

Posted 4 Days Ago


Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

What an excellent quote, and yes I kinda like the mystery man myself. Everyone loves a good myster.. read more
Kay/Hayden

4 Days Ago

:O Lemme guess, the mystery man is santie claus
Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

Lol, there is always someone just out of the loop watching. I guess the key is to notice those tha.. read more
A great and creative look at our time here and on other sites. I like the description, you portrayed the space in many dimensions and had me feeling warm and wondering if I would encounter Emma or Robert or Margie if I sat and waited long enough. Great piece...

Posted 4 Days Ago


Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

I thought the cafe needed four walls. Even if they are virtual. :) it would be so cool to pour a c.. read more
Crowley

4 Days Ago

I have quite often thought the same thing. I have had a chance to meet a few in real life, I even m.. read more
Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

I miss Ed, I am so happy you got to meet him. I got to meet Gene for lunch thus summer and I wish w.. read more
Wow nice write. I see you took your own good advice and pulled out a piece of paper and began to write. Pretty cool to be able to see some of the intertwinings that take place between each of our own thoughts that inspire bring out more this is really cool and you really nailed it here. thank you you for your love of writing and sharing with others

Posted 1 Week Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

It was a fun write, I am so glad you enjoyed it. :)
fantastic! And I wonder sometimes how I blunder into inspiration LOL what a perfect painting of the many penning folks who enter the cafe:) this will always be such a special place for me too dear Cherrie! this story is a bit different for you its part poetry too!

Posted 1 Week Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

There are many times I am solely inspired by something here in the Café. So, I wanted to capture i.. read more
Well, Cherrie ✍

It was an honor to be allowed to offer my 2¢, and I may have helped a little here 'n there, but it's your wonderfully-creative imagination and writing skills that caught my attention, compelling me to offer.
I've read quite a number of Writer's Café stories, treatises, and poems during the years I've served on this site, but none with the original twists yours portray.
I'd love to single out a line or paragraph, but every one is a vivid piece of an intricately entertaining and captivating mystery puzzle.
Lest I ramble on and wear my welcome thin, let me close by saying how very much I enjoy and respect your writing efforts.

Thank you ever-so gratefully for sharing them with Us! ⁓ Richard 🍃

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cherrie Palmer

4 Days Ago

Yes, I have tried several other writing sites and found them stuffy. They only review for enough p.. read more
Kay/Hayden

4 Days Ago

Ya i sort of like writing.com but its not active at all, I have been there for 2 months and only ha.. read more
Richard 🍃

4 Days Ago

Gee, Cherrie and Kay 😊

Thanks a million for all your lovely comments and complimen.. read more
As always, I admire your sky-wide creativity in painting how things go at the cafe. I feel very much the ambiance you describe. For 6 years I've watched some come-and-go in a short spurt, but many stick around for years (like us) & it's great to watch the ones who grow & play & boost each other up as the weeks & months go by. This is one of the best online communities I've ever experienced & I admire you for thinking to capture that in a warm fuzzy swirl of ideas (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Week Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

I totally agree with you. I've been here 11 years (wow), and the people here are the best. I too h.. read more
Beautiful words shared dear Cherrie. I have loved the W.C for many years. Us, who love to write. We need common people to befriend. I told Margie many years ago. She is a friend. We love the same things. Hello my friend and I hope you are doing well.
Coyote

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Week Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

I agree with, I have found true friends here and I count you, Maggie and so many other writers her.. read more
Coyote Poetry

1 Week Ago

I agree dear Cherrie. I count you as a friend also. We, who love to write. Need a place to share our.. read more
Where can I find the dimmer switch to turn up the lighting a little? I've only been talking to a Chinese adbot for the past 3 hours and just my luck, she is metric and I am imperial 🤗
Apt perhaps, that your description from the outset conjured images from when younger me read some dude called King's bok needful things... I don't know why the canopy/ window/ entrance reminded me of that, as I'm not even sure if there was a movie of that one, but in these days of isolation and the anxiety of a Christmas less festive season makes here a very needful thing indeed.


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Week Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Week Ago

I loved that book some many little details where hidden in it.

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12 Reviews
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Added on November 20, 2020
Last Updated on November 23, 2020

Author

Cherrie Palmer
Cherrie Palmer

Oakland, AR



About
I am a published poet and love poetry. My husband and I live near the White River, and love trout fishing. I find my surroundings a great inspiration to me. I also have two books on Amazon Kindle: O.. more..

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