A Post-Breakfast Conversation


My normal café is closed for essential repairs which I presume means re-vamping their recipe for sausage sandwiches, currently scoring poorly on the flavour scale, and I have been forced slightly “off-piste” in search of emergency catering. I come across Terry, another exile who is returning from his emergency coffee of choice and we say, almost in unison, “Hello, Cold Isn’t it, Bloody Freezing” and other profundities which pepper the conversations of those who are joined in the reckless search for truth.

At the end of the conversation, as I walk away, a man I know better called Reg stops me, and pointing to the receding figure of my ex-conversationalist says, “Friend of yours is he?” “Yes” I reply. “Have you ever eaten with him at any other restaurant or pub than “The Tuck Shop?” (That is the name of our local morning haunt by the way.)

“No” I say. “Has he invited you round to his house to look at his famous collection of dried centipedes, a roast meal or even just a glass of cheap merlot?” “No” I say.

“Do you fancy his wife and dread being caught in a compromising situation with her?” “No” I say, but now with greater emphasis. “Have you ever borrowed money off him without having the slightest intention of repaying it?” “No” I say.

“So he’s not really a friend of yours is he Stan. He’s just a bloke you meet in the street, “and this time I can say “Yes” because, let’s face it, that is the heart and soul of the matter, the very nub, the bitter truth!

You can see I like to get past the commonplace and drill into life’s depths, which might explain why no one invites me to into their home, or wives wink at me in a way which indicates that “Hubby is off to the golf-course this morning and the sofa will be ours to shake for the next two hours!”

In short, I largely slide past social opportunities and return to Jacintha my loyal goldfish who is swimming calmly through her estate, or tank as it is called by the uninitiated, which rests on a table in the living area. I pause to dump my shopping, make another coffee, (you can’t argue with the price of the ones you make at home so damn the quality,) and sit down next to her in my customary manner saying, “Have you ever been invited to another bowl by another goldfish to share their breakfast?”

Jacintha, who uses words carefully, or possibly not at all, flicks her tail and with a movement suggesting disdain drifts over to the far side of her estate. I can see the topic will not “light her fire” or whatever the term is in the world of goldfish and so return to sipping my coffee and nodding frequently to emphasise my enjoyment of home-made pleasures. Now Jacintha returns to my side of the estate and opens and closes her mouth slowly in a way which tells me how much we share the simple joys of life, if not coffee.

So ask me, “Is Jacintha a real friend of mine?” and the answer is “Yes!” We’ve never had a deep conversation but I recognise the wisdom in her firm belief that the world outside her estate, is best left unexplored!

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to A Post-Breakfast Conversation

  1. Hubby was invited to a lady’s house for coffee once. She followed him round the supermarket when he was on his own. She sidled up to him at the check out and he frantically pointed to his wedding ring and shouted ‘I’m married!’ She smiled and said it didn’t matter! He didn’t shop by himself for months after that, and never went into that supermarket again, even with me!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mikesteeden says:

    Bravo, Jacintha the loyal goldfish. A wonderful take on the subject of life, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daedalus Lex says:

    You’d better be careful with Jacintha. She seems to be toying, teasing, and working her tail to best advantage when you’re around. I’m not sure she’s in the friend zone. Yours in the reckless search for truth, Gary

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lol! Brilliant, Peter! Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cy Forrest says:

    I was invited to my first ever coffee morning just recently. “Oh I know,” they said, “You won’t go, just a bunch of silly women.” So, to prove I didn’t think that (in fact, the reason I’ve never been when invited in the past is I’m agoraphobic and I just don’t go anywhere), I went and had a lovely time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. lly1205 says:

    Haha I love the way the POV character seems to think!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ksbeth says:

    and a safe estate it is! no one dare enter, but the invited –

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The truth, as they say, is out there. Or maybe contained in a goldfish bowl. Who knows? I really enjoyed this slice of life, Peter, where exploration is best enjoyed at a distance!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gotham girl says:

    I like Jacintha. This is so good!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yet another brilliant reckless search for truth…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Al says:

    Having seen your normal cafe close-up and personally (The Dish, I believe), I ache for you and the turmoil this must have caused in your life. Man is so often belittled by the annoying interruptions from other people to our daily comforts, that it is no wonder goldfish become our only trusted confidants. Here’s hoping Jacintha (if that’s her real name) is getting along swimmingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kat says:

    Goldfish are so wise. Perhaps we should be more like them, says the person who would rather stay inside and hide all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What was it they say about man’s best friend?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m pretty sure she wears makeup but I could be wrong. I often am

    Liked by 2 people

  15. joey says:

    Oh that was delightful!
    (Still thinking about dried centipede collection, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I like Jacintha’s approach to life… humans are too complicated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tiostib says:

    Then there was Max420 on planet Urinik in the Bando Galaxy, who, each morning as he sipped his arsenon, a stimulant reminiscent of what was known as coffee on earth, liked to peer into his image globe. His favorite channel was Planet Earth. He was especially curious about the two legged terrestrial beings called humans. Max had discovered one character who seemed to have a relationship with one of Max’s evolutionary predecessors, Goldie12.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Scarlet says:

    Who needs deep conversation… it only leads to trouble, or a headache, give me a pet with its own private estate instead!
    Sx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ASH says:

    A fisheye view of virtue
    Did Jacintha just wink?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Jingga says:

    I love this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. nelle says:

    We find friendship in every nook and cranny of life, and so why not with a goldfish? Good story.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Teehee – we Americans have really gotten to you with all our hugs and “family” and what have you, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

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