I didn’t notice the cyclist behind me

while I was walking to the coffee shop,

so he coughed and spat onto the sidewalk

to let me know that he was there.

I sat uncomfortably close to a guy with a lot of tattoos

and his ex-girlfriend (with a lot of tattoos)

who is complaining to him about her new boyfriend

(who may or may not have any tattoos)

because the new boyfriend is celibate and it has been two months

and she thinks that she is in hell,

and the man just nods,

choking down his tuna salad on croissant.

I want to watch his face

as she discusses her agony,

but I point my gaze away from them

and take a too-big sip of my chai tea

which burns my throat and chest.

I imagine that’s how he must feel

because she just    keeps    talking,

and he keeps nodding,

and I think that he ought to cough and spit

to let her know that he is there.

About the Author

Julia Lewis

Julia Lewis

Writer & Editor

Julia is a junior Media Arts and Design major with a concentration in Digital Video and Cinema,
pursuing minors in sociology and creative writing. When she isn’t writing dance-heavy sketch comedy and managing the PR for Maddy Night Live, she’s a writer and editor for Pulp. Though her current career goal is to write for television, her varied interests (including poetry, layout design, and creative essay-writing) keep her in a fun state of uncertainty about the future.
She has been the recipient of the Madison Cinema Studies Award, the Blanche Garrett Memorial Endowment and the Madison Screenwriting Scholarship, all within the School of Media Arts and Design. 



The photographer, Sarah Beidleman, took these photos while studying abroad in Ireland.

About the Author

Sarah Beidleman

Guest Contributor