Stan the Man

Stan was bored. He’d been sat in a Kemptown coffeeshop all day, listening to humans babbling bollotics, when it was perfectly good weather outside.

‘Dear me, doesn’t she seem in a frightfully foul mood today,’ Stan thought in his royally posh accent. ‘Whatever might be the matter with her?’ He peered beneath the latest edition of Caffeine Magazine she had held before her, in which she so obviously faked an interest.

Francesca caught Stan’s eye, his eyebrow raised, the fawning love he held for her wholly apparent in just one of his puppy dog eyes. She lowered the magazine coolly, as if she hadn’t seen him at all. Stan lowered his head, dejectedly.

‘Christ, I need the loo,’ he thought to himself, ‘somewhat infelicitous of a moment to answer nature’s call, though. I shall have to hold it.’ Stan looked to distract himself, but found no means to do so; there were just people reading papers and talking politics, no one with whom he could make acquaintance, other than a fractious Francesca, who seemed intent on ignoring his very existence.

‘What might I have done? For what crime committed am I deserved this guilt?’ Stan considered restlessly, pathetically. ‘I shall have to make it up to her. But first, lord knows I need the loo!’ 

To get Francesca’s attention, Stan stood up and leaned on the table; he rested his chin on top of the Magazine, looking at her expectantly, and drooled over its pages. Fat flecks of saliva doused its text; Victoria grunted, ‘Oh for fuck’s sake, Stan, what is wrong with you!’

She proceeded to furl the magazine and wallop him around the side of the head with it, for the whole café to see, watching awkwardly looking over their own coffee and craft beer related magazines. Stan sat back down immediately, with a mute whimper.

‘She hates me! She hates me!—And I’m going to shit myself!’ Stan thought in exasperation, though not uttering so much as a murmur to Francesca, who was wiping the specks of salvia from the back of her left hand with a serviette, an expression on her face as if it were something much fouler. ‘Why does she despise me so?’

 ‘It’s coming! It’s coming!’ Stan realised, his usually measured inner-voice shrieking in emergency. He leapt up from his sitting position and leant over to Victoria again, this time resting on her legs.

‘Stan!’ Francesca slapped her magazine down onto the table, clinking the saucer of her coffee cup and allowing it to flop down on to the floor besides Stan, who sat down again fearfully. He trembled before the angry and excellently effective articulation of his name. ‘I can’t take you fucking anywhere,’ she huffed under her breath, blushing with the heat of the stares caused by the trivial commotion.

Stan agonised over Francesca’s outburst rather than trying to resolve his own impending outburst. He stayed sat down and silent despite shivering with urgency. ‘Oh! My dear Francesca’, he thought, melodramatically, ‘for why do you treat me thusly?’

Stan’s stomach dropped, quite further down than what was at that time opportune. ‘I’m going to shit myself,’ Stan thought, more decisively than worriedly, standing up on his shaking legs.

Francesca had composed herself, checked whether she was blushing on her smartphone, and leant forward to pick up her copy of Caffeine Magazine.

Stan shuffled onto the spit-covered mag before she could reach it, and squatted over it.

‘Stan! No!’ She barked at him authoritatively. Stan turned his head, looking Victoria guiltily in the eye.

‘Terrible sorry about this Francesca darling,’ he barked back for the café to hear, shitting onto a page of the magazine discussing the revolution of coffee-beer. ‘But dear, I beseech you tell me, please—why you are mad at me?’

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