Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
The man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.

I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.

Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.

Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.

Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.

I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.

Sometimes the man is working at the cash register. He smiles at me as he rings me up
and tells me to enjoy my day.

Sometimes the man is arranging pastries in the glass display. He looks up from the sugared doughnuts and slices of pound cake to give me a warm smile. I feel a pang in my stomach and my smile borderlines on grimace.

I take my tea and sit myself in one of those fancy armchairs.

Sometimes I bring a book and read. I send myself far away while sipping warm, spicy
tea.

Sometimes I bring a poem I've been working on. I scratch out lines and rewrite and rewrite again.

I stay until the place closes. I toss my cup in the garbage and file out of the shop with the other late night customers. He smiles and asks me to please come again.
Titles are really always awful. I can't decide whether this piece is about the 'man in the coffee shop' or 'you'

1. Does the current title work?
2. Does the sometimes at the beginning of some of the paragraphs sound good or just silly?
3. Are the sentences/paragraphs too choppy?
4. Thoughts/Comments? Love/Hate?


[Daily Literature Deviation 6/15/11]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconlottie-girl:
Lottie-Girl Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Student General Artist
I really liked the descriptions of what you were doing in the coffee shop. :)
You could just call it The Man, gives it a bit of mystery, I think.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconlottie-girl:
Lottie-Girl Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome :D
Reply
:iconard0r0us:
Ard0R0us Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
1. It works. I also like 'It's Not You' or 'It's Never You' -- I think as it stands I like it, especially because he comes back in to the story at the end to 'tidy things up' and bring it full circle.
2. I like it but I think it's a tad excessive. The 'sometimes' works in that it serves to show that it's not always the same but when the occurance is there it's always noticed. I like it's usage sometimes.
3. I like the choppiness but I do think it might be improved if it weren't quite so consistently choppy. I also like the little details you add to make it more sensory and physical. I think if you added a touch more of those and a little fewer 'sometimes' it would be more to my personal taste. As it reads it seems like a poem which was stretched in to a good piece of prose. I still like it, I just want it off the fence.
4. Comments:
I like the physical 'scenes' (coffee shop, library, wal-mart) but think you could tighten this up by having a more clear and ever so slightly descriptive aspect to them. You could adjust it mostly with formatting and a few choice sentences. The wal-mart scene would be better with a sentence or two. It would be more balanced that way with the others.

I think the 'drive myself crazy' part needs adjustment to reflect a non-literal more library-esque feel. Maybe a 'silently' or 'quietly' or 'to myself' or something along those lines. As it stands it seems a little off and out of character -- I like the emotion it conveys though.

I enjoyed reading this and how it's laid out. I do think it could be made even better with just a few minor adjustments. I also think your character might as well just ask the new coffee guy out.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you for the critique! I will definitely keep the things you mentioned in mind when editing.
Reply
:iconard0r0us:
Ard0R0us Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I wasn't sure how open you'd be to the comments. I know some people once they finish a piece they really don't worry about it or want to think on it anymore.

I enjoyed reading this and think with just a touch or two it could be even better.

keep writing...
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011  Student Writer
I'm always open to constructive criticism, particularly because I am always editing and rewriting. Thanks again!
Reply
:iconard0r0us:
Ard0R0us Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure. If you have something else you'd like me to read let me know.

:)
Reply
:iconenglandrain:
englandrain Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I feel like I've read this before, but I'm not quite sure.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Student Writer
It's possible? It was a Daily Lit Deviation a few months ago.
Reply
:iconkbuckm:
kbuckm Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
the title is great as it is :D the narrator may be focusing on 'you', but from my personal experience I think it is as if she wished the man was 'you'. It's like a mirror of her longing. I think the sentences have a nice rhythm to them. Though you do use 'sometimes' a lot, it is not overdone; it balances out with the rest of the sentences. I particularly like your emphasis on the last three words, "please come again". To me, it's as if it is a very thin lining of hope that's still alive.
all in all I like this piece :) I can relate to it.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it! :hug:
Reply
:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: This piece has been featured here --> [link] :heart:
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
my pleasure! :heart:
Reply
:iconkayin91:
KaYin91 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
i bet "the man in the coffee shop" is better than "michael"... that as for literature for itself... but we should allow ourselves for literature for ourselves once in a while.

the "sometimes" thing IS cliché (i admit i've used it myself, hah). but it didn't divert me too much out of the rest of the text. but... it is a single word, it's not something like "because even the moon changes". cliché phrases are far worse than words, but still be careful. i don't think it was very grave.

the paragraphs were short. but i think that such was not a problem. however, i do belief that you shouldn't create paragraphs inside paragraphs, that means, there are some line jumps inside paragraphs, which shouldn't be. some look accidental (maybe trouble with the word processor), but some look deliberate. for example "(...) even though you're not there. / Sometimes I look (...)". correct me if i'm wrong.

and i heard (read) somebody saying depressive texts are way too cliché (ok, let's admit they are). but i still liked this piece. the "enjoy my day" and "please come again" are touching. i bet i'd say that even without the cursive.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you liked the piece! :heart:
Reply
:iconpianocanival:
Pianocanival Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
Hey :wave: You got it ^^ I'm really happy you got the DLD and pick of the day :hug:

Cheers, keep creating :peace:
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Writer
Indeed I did! Thanks so much for suggesting my piece! :hug:
Reply
:iconpianocanival:
Pianocanival Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
:aww: it was my pleasure :hug:
Reply
:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I can really relate to the narrator talking to her lost love. I think it's because of the choppiness since that's how most people talk to those who are no longer with them.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :tighthug:
Reply
:iconsamoholic:
samoholic Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I really like this, it's melancholy & sweet. Sweet is the flow and rhythm the whole piece seems to have, and melancholy is the whole mood of it all. Although I can definitely feel the heartbreak. I like how it seems her lover has passed, but it could also be that he's just left her behind in life - moved on. If things feel choppy to yourself, I have to say I didn't feel it, besides as it is all told in a narrative monologue way I don't think that can be avoided, in fact to me it makes it more relatable or gave it more depth. I just love the "sometimes" at the beginning for the sentences, it's what helps that rhythm I was talking about before. I feel like that's the body of this whole thing, the meat - just like "How Do I Love Thee?" [link] . I know this isn't a poem, but still I that's the feeling I get.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Writer
Hah, I vaguely remember reading that poem once before. Several other people actually told me that it sounded vaguely poetic. Thanks :hug:
Reply
:iconkamcalste:
kamcalste Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think a lot of people can relate to this. The part that particularly struck me was the vague wish that the narrator would run into "him" at the Walmart...I used to imagine a similar thing, after a bad breakup. I think most of us can relate to that quiet hope for accidental reconnection.

The whole piece in itself is really lovely. Great work. :)
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it! :heart:
Reply
:iconkamcalste:
kamcalste Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think a lot of people can relate to this. The part that particularly struck me was the vague wish that the narrator would run into "him" at the Walmart...I used to imagine a similar thing, after a bad breakup. I think most of us can relate to that quiet hope for accidental reconnection.

The whole piece in itself is really lovely. Great work. :)
Reply
:iconelainerose:
ElaineRose Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
1. I believe that the current title is much better than "You." Not to sound overly critical/cynical of the world at large, but it seems like there are plenty of poems on the weepy side of things titled "You." The Man In The Coffee Shop really sets this apart in the same way that the man in the coffee shop sets this story apart from the other "I miss you" stories--he's a foil. I like how you left names out of this--it keeps it universal. Perhaps to strengthen it, put more detail into the man in the coffee shop? A few more lines about him, not necessarily shifting the entire focus.
2. Sometimes is good. I like it, and repeated elements help a story.
3. The choppy nature of the paragraphs help us to understand how the narrator thinks. It works, and I like it.
4. Really good piece! Totally deserves the DLD, but I'd say it's not 100% complete and polished quite yet. :iconfacebooklikeplz:
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you very much for the feedback!
Reply
:iconelainerose:
ElaineRose Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
My pleasure!
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) and has been selected as our Pick of the Day. It is featured in a news article here: [link] and on our main page.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
Wow. I'm kind of speechless right now. Thank you very much!
Reply
:icondagerias:
Dagerias Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011   Writer
I wish I had the time to give you a full critique like this piece deserves, but instead, I'm simply going to say that I loved this piece, it is one of my favorites in dA. The title is fantastic and really starts the story there. Your main character is relate-able, the ending was a bit strange for me, I was hoping for more of a "love" or some sort of last reminisce but truly, I loved the ambiguity of it. :heart:
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you so much! That means a lot. :heart:
Reply
:iconzerosilver:
zerosilver Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I found it interesting that you were worried about how the title worked, because it was the title that drew me in in the first place. Because there's such a lovely coffee shop that I go to in town, that's what I think of when I read those words, or hear them, so the warm thoughts I associate with it resurface. I think that's what made me want to read, just knowing that pieces about coffee shops are often tender and...a little nostalgic. But as for your critique questions:

1) Absolutely. I wouldn't change the one you've got at all because of the feelings most people associate with coffee shops. I think it works best for this piece, and about how you said you weren't sure exactly who the piece was about, I took it as being about the man in the coffee shop, even though it flashes back. In the end it comes back to him.
2) I like the 'sometimes' at the beginnings of the sentences. It adds a certain tone, depending on what the content of the rest of the sentence is. For example, near the end, it adds a more laid back tone to go along with the artistic feel of the activities. In other places, it adds to the intensity, and to the nostalgic tone, also giving the sense that there are other unmentioned things in the story.
3) I didn't find them too choppy. At least not in a negative way. In the places they were, I thought it was stylistic and fit nicely with the tone and idea in the piece.
4) I really liked it overall. I both like and dislike the lack of background about who 'you' is. I think it leaves ample room for the reader to figure things out, but at the same time I was a little confused at first, having questions about who that person was and why the narrator is so attached to him. I liked the description you used and I had a clear mental image of what the coffee shop looked like and of the taste of the narrator. Very well written!
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Student Writer
:hug:Thanks for the critique! I'm glad you liked it.
Reply
:iconzerosilver:
zerosilver Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome, it was beautiful! :D
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Student General Artist
1. "The Man In The Coffee Shop" definitely works. It has a rather enigmatic air to it and that was the reason why I chose to read this :) Sometimes readers DO judge a book by its cover (in this case, judge a vignette by its title)!

2. The "sometimes" were good rather than silly. The repetition is used here effectively and somehow gives everything a sense of order and a special sort of ring to it.

3. Choppiness is definitely not an issue here; impressionistic is how I would put it.

4. I really loved the imagery in this--it seemed as if I was right there with the characters. Like tortugamgmt, I thought I really could relate with the narrator. Overall it's quite , quite wonderful and very haunting.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it! :hug:
Reply
:icontortugamgmt:
tortugamgmt Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Student Writer
1. I actually quite like the title. It makes perfect sense and it's intriguing.
2. I actually didn't notice all the 'sometimes' until I read that question. So for me, they work fine.
3. Also didn't have an issue with choppiness. It may be a bit choppy at places, but I think it works well with the subject matter, and for the most part it seems to flow fairly well.
4. I really liked this. I can relate in many ways, and I think it's beautiful. Good job.
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you very much! :hug:
Reply
:iconevil-nj:
Evil-Nj Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Student Writer
:iconthewrittenrevolution:

Hey! I have to tell you, your specific questions save me a lot of time as I can focus on the parts that you need people to look at closer.

1. The current title works. It is intriguing, IMO. Although, I was interested because it sounded a little like The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton. But I want to tell you this: if you like it better when it's called 'Michael', then you should not care about what other people think. Have that as the title because what matters to you is what counts. You might, as always is the case, leave out a few people to whom 'The Man in the Coffee Shop' sounds more interesting than 'Michael'. So that's your call.

2. The 'sometimes' at the beginning of some of the paragraphs sound good. But as this is a vignette, the 'sometimes' seem to be dominating most of it. It might seem redundant to some people, but, ultimately, it is your call. There is another problem the repetition of 'sometimes' brings about, but I'll tackle that when I get to question four.

3. The sentences are short where needed and you alternate between short and longer sentences. This works... mostly... I'll get to the parts where it doesn't work when I answer question four. The paragraphs are easy to read and visualize and that is good.

4. Right. So here we are; the thing that I had a problem with was the flow. All pieces are easier to read and visualize when they have a flow. If you want to find out if what you've written has a good flow, read it out loud. Wherever you stammer, the flow needs work. Try to rephrase those sentences and make them more flowing.

These sentences, for instance, need to be rephrased:
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you.
The phrasing sounds weird and, IMO, seems to break the flow. It could be changed to: Sometimes someone who looks like you would come in.

Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice.
Again, this sounds weird when you read it out loud. Also, 'maybe' indicates probability 'will' indicates certainty- conflicting, right? It could be changed to:He might have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. Drop the 'maybe'.

I scream for and at you.
The phrasing isn't weird here, but it breaks the flow, IMO. It might help if you changed it to: I scream for you and at you.

By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
Once again, 'by chance' is probability and 'will' is certainty. You could consider changing this to: By chance, we might run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.

Those were the only parts I had a problem with.

Overall, I liked it. It was a good character-sketch filled with subtle sentiments. The sentences were simple, yet lucid and made the narrator's POV something easy to relate to. I liked the ending because it made it seem cyclic... something that is becoming a routine. It also hints at other future directions for the plot. Good job! :)
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Student Writer
Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to critique this! I really appreciate it! :hug:
Reply
:iconevil-nj:
Evil-Nj Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011  Student Writer
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconarohtar:
Arohtar Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
1. The title worked well. It captured my attention and made me curious to read.
2. The sometimes's are a bit much. They help a bit, although I'd recommend taking a few out.
3. The choppiness works well for the style of the piece.
4. I really like it. Great work!
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it :heart:
Reply
:icon420writer:
420Writer Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
At first I didn't like the choppiness that the piece embodies, but after a couple lines I realized it was meant to sound this way. I love the voice behind the writing, like you can hear a little girl who could never quite speak up crying softly in the background. I think it's sad, but so familiar, something that many people can relate to.

1. I like the title, it drew me in.
2. There are a few too many "sometimes" repeated throughout the piece. Maybe if you switched off between "sometimes" and "now and then" or "occasionally"
3. Like I said above, the choppiness works for what message I feel you were trying to express here.
4. I loved it :) great job
Reply
:iconxthe-eleanorx:
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Student Writer
Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you liked it! :heart:
Reply
:icon420writer:
420Writer Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011
You're welcome
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconxthe-eleanorx: More from xthe-eleanorx


Featured in Collections

Writings by MoreaGaara

Words that Inspire by toxic--sunrise

The Written Word by LadyWolfRider


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
June 2, 2011
File Size
1.9 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
944
Favourites
45 (who?)
Comments
60
×