the boy at the coffeehouse wore a knit cap and a plaid shirt. he worked studiously on an old-skool ibook, shaking his right leg. a nervous habit. a twitch. an endearing one.
when i sneezed, a sneeze that shook the table and bounced off the walls, he turned, looked me straight in the eye and said “bless you.” then he smiled.
“thank you,” i swooned.
without warning, i sneezed again. by this point, polite boy had moved to a friend’s table on the other side of the coffeehouse. he turned and smiled again. “bless you.”
i shouldn’t admit this, but the rest of the time i sat there, i mindlessly doodled in my sketchbook, read the same paragraph 20 times, and tried so hard to make myself sneeze again.
it didn’t work.