Writing

Those Curls

by Adam Semple Her curls seemed to fill the room. They were dense and bold, seemingly hydrophobic and certainly in some ancient culture would have been used as a protective layer, but in this instance they were there for beauty and bust, and this is exactly what they were achieving. Her personality and hair were in sync, matched like a specific wine to a specific plate of food. A certain coherence existed between her hair and her exuberance, she charged around the coffee shop in an emotionally invested state of energy, not stopping to give staff her orders but halting only to make small talk with the most handsome of customers. I imagine that the potency of her steps must at some stage of the day lead to an equally forceful crashing of energy, but we, the onlookers, certainly never witness such a thing, and are left to make the mere assumption that she must, if nothing else, sleep exceptionally well at night. Occasionally, if an oppressive customer enters the scene, The Curly Haired Machine will expose the outer edges of what could be an explosive bomb, however, wrong I was. And like the sun she not only glowed (with ambition and ability) but also controlled that inner fire and expelled it only fractionally, for the good of us all. Like a solar flare, I thought to myself. Occasional disarray takes over in the shop. People always arrive at the same time and the Domino effect comes into its prime in a team-work environment where every action is completely reliant on its predecessor. So bustling in come’s the boss and within a flash she is not so much as conquering an important task but providing what she does best, the lifting of moral, vocally and through that abundant presence of golden ringlets. It may be the tequila espresso she brings us in moments of gloom but it’s a good vibe regardless of circumstance, and that’s the sensation we all feel. Every now and then the whole cafe would rumble. An intensity of laughter so vigorous and hearty, so genuine, it engulfs all in vibrational range. Like an alarm clock, it awakens us to the sounds of life. All in our closed worlds, so easy to forget we’re on a star rolling through space and all of a sudden this penetrating injection of happiness shakes us out of our mindlessness. That’s what it does. We are focusing on what we are supposed to focus on and then it happens, that sound, those notes, and we are shaken back into the realisation that whatever it is we’re doing means nothing and really all that matters is that laugh and sharing that laugh with others. Everything that comes out of this coffee house is a reflection of those curls. The staff, those muffins, and the punch received after drinking that espresso, it’s all refracted through those ringlets. They make you want more of life, like that laugh, give me more! Needless to say the customers tend to leave in a better mood than when they arrived. Let’s be honest, that’s the nature of the beast in the coffee shop business: enter low and exit high. Here though, in this cafe, on this polished concrete and below these hanging lights, there is another force at work, those curls.

Photo: Adam Semple
Photo: Adam Semple

This story originally appeared in Metior Magazine, Edition #1 2014

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