The hipster girl with the nose-ring furrowed her brow. “Um … what?” I could see in her face that guys like me normally didn’t ask her for gum. Their loss. Time was of the essence because writing can be a fickle thing. One moment the story is with you, and the next moment, the eureka moment disappears.
“Please, I’m a writer, and gum helps me think.”
“You’re a writer?” she asked. “What have you written?”
“Nothing you’ve read.” I was unpublished at the time, so of course she hadn’t read anything yet. Silly girl. This was the whole point of sitting in Starbucks. I had to sit amongst the people and seek inspiration.
“How may books have you sold?” She took a sip from her coffee and awaited my answer as if she was actually interested.
“Technically, I’m unpublished.”
“So … zero?”
I chewed my gum, now out of the delicious flavor I so enjoyed and just slowly nodded embarrassingly. I looked at her dark hair with a bright red streak on her right bang and watched her eyes to see if she was kidding but I could see the disdain in her pupils. “How does the gum help you?” She obviously didn’t know a damn thing about writing.
“It just does.”
“Listen, it was just a question.”
“Do I look like a gum factory to you?”
“You looked like a girl who enjoys gum.”
“What does that mean?”
“Please … don’t act like that. Who doesn’t like gum.”
“I like a lot of things way more than gum,” she said. “For a writer, you have some really lame pick-up lines.”
I couldn’t believe this. Really? A guy can’t ask a girl for gum anymore? I rubbed my temples and stood up. “Let me check the counter.” My investigation lasted thirty-four seconds. I guess coffee and gum doesn’t mix. Maybe it was like Disneyland in not wanting gum to be placed under the tables and on the floor. I grabbed another coffee and returned to my writer’s corner and saw the hipster girl with the nose-ring was gone, but on the keyboard of my macbook was a single piece of gum.
It was the last one in the pack.