Maya looked at her watch again. Her lukewarm cup of coffee stood attentively by her left hand. “Fifteen minutes,” she mumbled.
Agatha, out of breath, burst through the door of the Caffeine Expressions Coffee Bar. Maya sat at her table, glaring at her. Agatha shot a hopeful glance at the barista, then decided she’d let her colleague wait long enough.
“Deepest regrets. Traffic was grim,” said Agatha.
“Iktsuarpok*,” said Maya, flatly.
“I know, I know,” said Agatha, apologetically.
“Then explain yourself,” demanded Maya.
“Don’t be rude. There’s no need for that,” said Agatha.
“When was the last time you experienced iktsuarpok?” asked Maya.
“A week ago, I suppose. But that wasn’t the worst of it. When the gentleman eventually did show, he was so jejune, I went all fernweh*,” said Agatha.
“Really? For where?”
“Nunavut, ironically,” said Agatha.
Maya couldn’t contain her laughter.
“So, what’s so important you need to impede my gloaming savior-faire?”
Maya leaned forward and smiled. “A query.”
The barista interrupted them by placing a ceramic teacup in front of Agatha. She looked up at him and smiled. “You are a paragon,” she said.
“I’ll take that as a good thing,” he said, as he walked away.
Agatha took a sip as Maya continued, “I wonder if humans are white or dark meat.”
The two ladies giggled.
A man sitting at a table nearby closed his notebook and approached the barista. “Excuse me.”
“I couldn’t help overhearing the two ladies over there,” said the man.
The barista looked at him suspiciously. “You’re the guy who sits in the corner and writes all the time.”
“Yes, I’m a writer. Sometimes I need a little inspiration, so I quietly observe,” confessed the man.
“And you don’t know what to make of those two,” said the barista.
“Join the club.”
“Do you know why they talk that way?”
The barista shook his head. “Sir, all I know is they’re my working definition of eccentric.”
The writer shrugged his shoulders. “Thanks,” he said, then turned to leave. As the door closed behind him, he heard the two ladies giggle.
*iktsuarpok: (inuit) the frustration of waiting for someone to turn up.
*fernweh: feeling homesick for a place you have never been to.