Waiting for Coffee

(Kaya goes to the counter. Ivan is sitting there reading. Kaya sits down next to him, and puts her arm around him. Ivan looks up surprised and happy.)

Kaya: What’s going on, Ivan?

Ivan: I’m reading this book, it’s sweet.

Kaya: Ivan, what do you think about me?

Ivan: I think you’re insane, why do you ask?

Kaya: Because I don’t know what to think of myself.

Ivan: Don’t think about yourself, it’s scary.

Kaya: Alyosha just ripped me a new mental asshole.

Ivan: Don’t worry, I ripped him a new one earlier. He was probably just mad that I bitched at him, so he decided to pick on you.

Kaya: Do you think I’m cute?

Ivan: Yeah, why?

Kaya: You know how it is, low self-esteem.

Ivan: People die of those, so watch out.

Kaya: I will.

Ivan: Have you noticed there’s a lot of deep eye contact between you and Alyosha.

Kaya: There is?

Ivan: Yeah, I’ve been watching it. And you made him laugh too, once or twice. Alyosha told me that he only would love girls that made him laugh.

Kaya: Does Liz make him laugh?

Ivan: I’ve never seen him laugh because of her once.

Kaya: Never… But Liz is my best friend, and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her… I think Alyosha is cute and all, but I can’t betray Liz even if their relationship ends or sucks.

Ivan: You won’t betray her if you don’t do anything with him.

Kaya: But him even looking at me like that is betrayal; do you think Liz noticed?

Ivan: Unless she’s a complete idiot. But Liz is so infatuated with him, she probably didn’t see it.

Kaya: I can’t handle this drama, Ivan, I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.

Ivan: Don’t then, leave… Their relationship will be over soon anyway, and you won’t ever have to see him again.

Kaya: Why do you think it’ll be over soon?

Ivan: Because Alyosha doesn’t love her, he doesn’t care about her, he just wanted attention, that’s why he called her. See, Alyosha loves females, but only that they are females, he rarely ever loves who they are, except if they make him laugh… She doesn’t make him laugh, so he doesn’t care about her.

Kaya: I think he’s cute, and he’s interesting. Like he’s got the qualities of a good and bad boy. (Pause) I like that about him, but I can’t betray Liz, she’d kill me.

Ivan: Then don’t betray her, just leave, and never see him again. You can live without him. It’s just Alyosha, he’s a maniac.

Kaya: But he’s such a beautiful maniac though. Liz showed me some of the poems he’s written, they’re really good, he’s got a lot of talent.

Ivan: Yes, he is a very talented writer.

Kaya: Yeah, but I don’t know. What am I thinking?

Ivan: You’re thinking you want Alyosha.

Kaya: I know I am, but he’s Liz’s. And even if they stopped seeing each other, I still could never see him.

Ivan: You’re right about that. Liz is so stupidly in love with him, it’s unbearable to watch.

Kaya: I have to go back over though.

Ivan: Okay.

Kaya: I’ll be back.

(Kaya walks back to the table. She sits down awkwardly.)

Liz: What did Ivan have to say?

Kaya: He said I needed to touch boys a little to get their attention.

Alyosha: I told you.

Kaya: I think I’m going home and sleep.

Liz: Yeah, me too. You ready to go, Alyosha?

Alyosha: Yeah, honey.

(In Alyosha’s car driving home.)

Liz: I’m tired of this.

Alyosha: Tired of what?

Liz: This relationship, you’re never going to love me, I’m going to sit here waiting forever, and you’ll never love me. You’re just waiting until someone comes along who’s better. Someone prettier.

Alyosha: Oh, don’t say that.

Liz: No, it’s true. I don’t even think you like me.

Alyosha: I do like you, it’s just that.

Liz: That what?

Alyosha: It’s just that I don’t love you, I’m not attracted to you in that way.

Liz: You were attracted to me the other day when we had sex?

Alyosha: I am sexually attracted to you, but I can’t love you. I’m incapable of loving anyone at this point in my life.

Liz: I know, you’re so confused about who you are right now.

Alyosha: I know who I am, I’m Alyosha the writer. But when it comes to loving someone, I can’t do it right now. I just can’t.

Liz: But it feels so perfect when we’re together?

Alyosha: It doesn’t feel perfect for me.

Liz: It doesn’t.

Alyosha: No… It’s like if I was gay or something, you’d be the perfect fag hag, but we don’t belong together in some love thing.

Liz: Alyosha, I love you though.

Alyosha: You don’t love me, you’re infatuated.

Liz: I’m not infatuated, what I feel is real!

Alyosha: It’s not real, it’s a delusion, it’s unreal. You’ve made this love thing up in your head to compensate for something lacking in your psychology. This isn’t real, this isn’t love, I’m sorry.

Liz: What did I do wrong?

Alyosha: You didn’t do anything wrong, you’re fine just the way you are. But who you are isn’t right for me. It’s not good or bad, it’s just not right for me.

Liz: I’m so stupid. (Liz starts crying) I’m so stupid, why did I let this happen?

Alyosha: It’s mostly my fault; I shouldn’t have led you on like I did.

Liz: But you’re my destiny, I was to be together forever with you. You and me were gonna live in New York together, you would be a writer and I would be a painter.

Alyosha: I’m sorry, but you should know expectations are a shortcut to suffering.

Liz: I can’t live without you.

Alyosha: Well, here we are in the driveway… I’m sorry about everything, I seriously am. I wish things could have turned out differently, but life doesn’t work like that. I’m sorry I don’t love you, if I could, I would. You’re a beautiful girl, and I know everything will work out for the best; it’ll be all right.

Liz: Alyosha (she says with tears in her eyes) I love you, I do, I really do, and I know you love me too.

Alyosha: I’m sorry, but I don’t.

Liz: You do, I know you do!

Alyosha: Liz, you’re a great girl, but we weren’t made for each other.

(Long silence)

Liz: Okay, I have to go. (She exits the car)

(Back at Denny’s. Ivan is still sitting at the counter reading. Alyosha comes in and sits next to Ivan)

Alyosha: Guess what just happened?

Ivan: You broke up with Liz.

Alyosha: Yeah, how did you know?

Ivan: It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Alyosha: Yeah, I’ve really dragged it out.

Ivan: Yeah, it was quite immoral of you.

Alyosha: Yeah, I know, but I wanted something to do three days a week, and she was perfect for that.

Ivan: Never use people as a means, Alyosha, you know that.

Alyosha: Yeah, but I was so lonely, and she was so nice.

Ivan: She is a nice girl.

Alyosha: Yeah, she is.

(Pause)

Ivan: How did it go, did she cry?

Alyosha: Yeah, she cried all over the goddamn place.

Ivan: Girls do that.

Alyosha: I’ve seen so many girls cry, and the more I see it, the more it seems like their tears have nothing to do with me. It’s like some hidden repressed memory comes to the front of the psyche and causes those tears, not me. I don’t know how I cause tears; I’m just me.

Ivan: Yeah, but you’re Alyosha the maniac. You exude sexuality with your eccentric nature, woman love that. They fall in love with you easily because you seem to understand their problems, you seem to care, but in all actuality you don’t. You only listen to what they have to say so you can put it in a book if it sounds interesting. You don’t care about anyone, not even yourself Alyosha. You’re an egocentric megalomaniac.

Alyosha: I am.

Ivan: Yeah, you are. You only care about one thing, and that’s your writing. Look how you live in your parent’s house, sponging off of them… While you justify your laziness with the fact you write a couple of pages every other day. See, the reason it doesn’t bother you is because you live in your own little world where only intellectual bullshit enters. You’re so far removed from reality you can barely talk to people. Right now, I bet you’re thinking of five different thoughts while I’m talking to you. Are you?

Alyosha: I am, actually.

Ivan: See, you’re trapped in your head and you can’t get out, that’s the problem. That’s why you didn’t feel guilty about leading Liz on, because you’re so far gone that simple people emotions don’t affect you. The emotions you care about are ones that great people had like Joyce or Ginsberg, it’s not that you don’t care about people anymore, it’s that you’ve left reality. You’ve gone to some intellectual planet where you stare down at people with a telescope studying them, not bonding with them.

Alyosha: Is that why you call me a maniac?

Ivan: Yes, because you’re gone, and that’s all.

Alyosha: What am I supposed to do with myself?

Ivan: Go on SSI, write one book after another till you get one published, cus you’ll never make it in the world. Also don’t leave the house, cus you’re a hazard to people who frequent the public.

Alyosha: Will you visit me?

Ivan: Yeah, I’ll visit you; I’ll be your editor.

Alyosha: Cool. I have something to tell you though.

Ivan: That you have a crush on Kaya.

Alyosha: Yeah, how’d you know?

Ivan: I watched your eyes caress her body the whole time you guys were talking.

Alyosha: Are you serious?

Ivan: Yup.

Alyosha: Maybe that’s why Liz figured out the relationship wasn’t gonna work.

Ivan: Could be.

Alyosha: I think I really like Kaya, she’s so cute, and intelligent, and she makes me laugh, too.

Ivan: I know, I saw the laughter.

Alyosha: You did, what did you think?

Ivan: I think you like her.

Alyosha: But what am I supposed to do, she’s Liz’s best friend.

Ivan: Do nothing, go home, watch television, read a book.

Alyosha: I can’t just sit here, I have to get, she made me laugh… A girl hasn’t made me laugh since Nora.

Ivan: That was a long time ago.

Alyosha: Yeah, it was. She was a great girl, too.

Ivan: She bitched at you constantly.

Alyosha: I know, but she made me laugh even when she was bitching. I just know that Kaya could make me laugh. She has it in her; she has it in her to make me love her.

Ivan: You wanna know something?

Alyosha: What?

Ivan: I had the same conversation with her earlier.

Alyosha: You did, what did she say?

Ivan: She said she thinks you’re cute.

Alyosha: She does. You notice all it takes to make a relationship is the fact someone thinks someone else is cute.

Ivan: Yeah, that’s humans… But listen, you can’t do anything, you’ve already done enough damage to Liz, don’t do any more.

Alyosha: Oh, you’re right, I’ve been kind of a prick.

Ivan: Yeah, you have.

Alyosha: But Ivan, this is life, I have to do these things, I’m Alyosha the maniac, I must do insane things, that’s what I’m best at.

Ivan: But don’t you see, it’s immoral.

Alyosha: What do you care about morality, you believe everything is beyond good and evil.

Ivan: You do have a point there, but listen, there are things we must do as humans, and I believe one of them is be nice to each other, don’t emotionally screw with each other. If you go after Kaya, and get her. Which will be easy because she’s in an intense moment of desperation. You will destroy their friendship of four years.

Alyosha: Listen, their friendship sucks. In reality Liz doesn’t even like Kaya. Liz only likes to believe she is still fond of Kaya, but she isn’t. Both have moved on to different places, if I broke up their friendship, it would be a favor.

Ivan: You have the most fucked up logic of any person I’ve ever met.

Alyosha: It’s artist’s logic.

Ivan: You’re a maniac.

Alyosha: Oh God, I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t go from one girl to the next; my life is so fucked up. I can’t love; I’m completely incapable of it. Do you see me, Ivan?

Ivan: Yes, and you know what I see?

Alyosha: What?

Ivan: A lonely, lonely man.

Alyosha: Aren’t you lonely, you’ve read most of the books I have, you’ve read about the horrors of reality, why aren’t you depressed and insane like me?

Ivan; I’m an Aries, you’re a Libra, that’s why.

Alyosha: This is because of my astrological sign?

Ivan: Yes, your madness is all because of your astrological sign.

Alyosha: That’s absurd.

Ivan: No, it’s stark reality.

Alyosha: You’re crazy, Ivan.

Ivan: Look who just came in?

Alyosha: Who?

(Before he knows it, Kaya is standing there.)

Ivan: How come you’re back, isn’t tomorrow a school day?

Kaya: Yeah, but I’m not going tomorrow, I’m too depressed.

Ivan: Good reason.

Alyosha: Wanna get a table together?

Kaya: Yeah, that sounds good.

(They both get up, and go to a booth. They sit on opposite sides of the booth. A server comes over and pours them cups of coffee, and gives them silverware.)

Alyosha: So how are you doing?

Kaya: I’m doing horrible.

Alyosha: What’s wrong, tell me about it?

Kaya: Well, I’m lonely. And it’s so shitty to go to sleep alone, I can’t bear it. It’s like all the loneliness of the day collapses down on me; all the pain of being alive destroys me right before I go to sleep…It’s so hard to sleep, too, and I’m so miserable I never get a good rest. I just want someone to be next to me, someone to comfort and hold me in the night. But no one is there, it’s just me, and I’m so alone. And I was so sad earlier today when I heard how good you and Liz were doing. I was so jealous, everyone I know has a boyfriend or girlfriend but me. I know fat girls that have boyfriends and I can’t get one. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I’m starting to think I am.

Alyosha: No, you’re a beautiful girl…I have something to tell you.

Kaya: What?

Alyosha: Liz and I aren’t going to see each other anymore.

Kaya: How come?

Alyosha: Because I didn’t love her, she couldn’t make me laugh.

Kaya: I can make you laugh.

Alyosha: Yeah, you can. You have a wild personality; it’s so delightfully neurotic.

Kaya: Yeah, I guess it is… What are you gonna do?

Alyosha: Just go on with my life, that’s all.

Kaya: Do you feel lonely?

Alyosha: Yeah, I do. I feel like no one is even near me, like I’m in some Denny’s desert waiting for coffee that will never come.

Kaya: Yeah, I feel that too. Like I don’t understand, there’s all these people on the earth, but I can’t relate to a single one of them, no matter how hard I try.

Alyosha: Like there’s no true connection between you and anybody else. Like we’re all miles apart in our own little worlds.

Kaya: Yeah, like that. It’s so sad on all the worlds too… So sad and dreary.

Alyosha: I feel so heartbroken all the time, like I’ve lost something great, but I haven’t lost anything at all.

Kaya: I know my heart feels broken too. Life is so strange, why can’t it just be normal?

Alyosha: What’s normal life?

Kaya: A life where I have someone to sleep with at night.

Alyosha: That does sound good. I haven’t slept next to anyone in months.

Kaya: I used to sleep next to my ex-boyfriend Jim, and it felt so good, so natural, so peaceful. I didn’t even love him, and when he was awake he was such a jack-off. But when he was asleep, and I would cuddle him in the night, it felt so good.

Alyosha: The night is so big, it terrifies me, it drenches me with its sadness. But when I had someone to sleep with, it felt all right, I felt that life had hope.

Kaya: Life is so hopeless, what do we have to look forward to. A bad job, a shitty family, anti-depressants, I don’t know how I muster the energy to go on. I don’t even have a father, who am I supposed to make happy? Who am I supposed to achieve things for?

Alyosha: Your mother.

Kaya: She’s never achieved anything her whole life. Last year she married a rich guy to take care of her, she has no self-respect.

Alyosha: You’re right; any woman that would marry for money is way behind the times.

Kaya: Damn straight. You won’t see me doing something like that. I’m gonna make my own money, I’m not gonna depend on any man when I grow up.

Alyosha: What do you plan on being?

Kaya: A chemical engineer.

Alyosha: Good in math?

Kaya: Yeah, I’m real good.

Alyosha: What do you think about Liz and I’s relationship?

Kaya: I think Liz went over-board. She always does that; she gets completely obsessed way too fast. The boy notices it, and runs. She doesn’t have very long relationships because of it. And also in my opinion she’s not right. Something is intensely wrong, her mood swings are too drastic, it’s like goddamn World War Two when she gets pissed… The stupid thing is, she’ll call me crying and I’ll rush over. And she’ll be sitting there losing it, and then I ask what the hell is wrong, and it’s always something completely moronic… It’s strange because she acts so normal, and then she has a mood swing and it’s like the death of God.

Alyosha: Yeah, I noticed that. It’s like she has no control over emotions.

Kaya: None whatsoever.

Alyosha: How do you feel about Liz truthfully?

Kaya: I feel that I’ve moved on to something new. I’m a senior in high school now, and I’ve already sent in my application to YSU, and I’m getting ready to start a new life. I don’t care much about making fun of cheerleaders anymore like she does. She’s still in high school mentally, and I don’t even think she’s attempted to get ready for college. I doubt she’ll even go, most likely if she does go, she’ll never go to class because she’ll be constantly having a nervous breakdown.

Alyosha: Why do you still talk to her, if you feel this way?

Kaya: I talk to her when I can’t find anybody else to talk to. She’s my last resort.

Alyosha: It’s odd how time changes people.

Kaya: Yeah, Liz and me used to be best friends, now we don’t have anything to do with each other.

Alyosha: Do you still feel lonely?

Kaya: Yeah, I feel it in my gut, the desolation. I don’t know what to do, I’m human, but I don’t feel like it. And what the hell does it mean to feel human anyway, you know? What exactly should a human feel like?

Alyosha: Bored, I guess. I don’t feel human either, more like a horsefly. Like I’m some ugly insect that flies around pissing people off.

Kaya: I don’t know what I feel like, a dumb high school student.

Alyosha: I was in high school once, it fucking sucked.

Kaya: You’re so lucky, but in four months I’m done, yippee.

Alyosha: It sucks to graduate; life becomes more and more retarded, as you get older. It never really gets hard, it just gets retarded.

Kaya: My life is retarded now.

Alyosha: But it gets even more retarded. As you get older, people expect things from you, like finishing college, getting a job, getting married, having a kid, getting a big house, people expect these things, and if they don’t get them. They get pissed. Of course they don’t tell you how pissed they are, but it’s apparent.

Kaya: I’m afraid of life, I don’t want to have to grow up. I have no interest in growing up, it doesn’t seem worth it, but I’ll do it anyway.

Alyosha: Of course you’ll do it, you have to.

Kaya: What about you, are you gonna grow up anytime soon?

Alyosha: I don’t have to grow up.

Kaya: How come?

Alyosha: I’m a writer, writers don’t have to grow up, it’s part of the profession.

Kaya: What if you never get a book published, are you just gonna spend the rest of your life in your parents’ house.

Alyosha: No, eventually I’ll move out. Eventually I’ll get my shit together and live my life. But currently, I can’t, the pain I feel is too immense.

Kaya: Why do you feel so much, have you ever had to even suffer, are your parents even divorced?

Alyosha: I’ve never really suffered, nothing bad has ever happened to me. I’ve lived a sweet life actually, but my chemicals won’t let me be, my mind will not give up thinking, it will not give me a moment’s peace.

Kaya: I don’t think I understand.

Alyosha: No one does, everyone just thinks I’m a slacker, but I’m really suffering, I’m really screaming inside and there’s nothing I can do to release it.

Kaya: That must be horrible.

Alyosha: I’d rather be in a jungle tribe than be myself in America.

Kaya: You’re a strange boy, Alyosha.

Alyosha: Yeah, probably… Sometimes I feel so lonely I start to believe that there’s a God and a heaven I can go to when I die, then I catch myself, and suffer more.

Kaya: Me too… I would really like to believe in God, but I can’t, I just can’t.

Alyosha: I think you’re really beautiful.

Kaya: Thank you.

Alyosha: I want you to sit next to me.

Kaya: Are you for real, you just broke up with Liz.

Alyosha: Liz and I were never going out, and I’ve always liked you more.

Kaya: Okay.

(Kaya gets up and moves next to Alyosha)

Kaya: What do I do now?

Alyosha: I’m gonna put my arm around you, and move you closer to me.

(Alyosha puts his arm around Kaya, Kaya is nervous. They sit touching. From the counter Ivan yells for Alyosha. Alyosha runs over and sits next to Ivan.)

Ivan: What are you doing?

Alyosha: I’m teaching her PDA, she’s incapable of doing it. So I’m gonna teach her.

Ivan: You’re a maniac. Leave the poor girl alone; you’ll lead her on.

Alyosha: No, this girl understands me.

Ivan: She’s a dumb high school girl.

Alyosha: No, she’s different.

Ivan: They’re all different. (Sarcastically)

Alyosha: You’re right, but she’s so cute.

Ivan: There’s a place for people like you.

Alyosha: Where’s that?

Ivan: Hell.

(Alyosha runs back to the table and sits next to Kaya.)

Alyosha: Kaya. (Pause)

Kaya: Yeah?

Alyosha: I think I have to go, I’m tired. (Alyosha gets up and puts his coat on.)

Kaya: Wait stay.

Alyosha: No, I can’t, I have to go. (He exits.)

(Kaya sits looking sad.)

Posted in FictionBookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Contribute a Story

    Identity Theory publishes fiction from new and up-and-coming writers, with special attention paid to promoting strong literary voices. To contribute a short story, read our fiction submission guidelines.