This was the first deliberately mundane fan fiction I did for my aborted National Novel Writing Month project last November. In hindsight – if my intended goal was to only use a character once – this was a waste of Daredevil.
Matt Murdock knew one thing for sure – he could go for a cup of coffee. Although already 90 minutes late for work, his business partner was an old friend, and one with a unique understanding of Matt’s nocturnal lifestyle – which mandated many tardy arrivals at the Law Offices of Nelson and Murdock. Also, when your place of business is named after you, you can come and go as you please.
“Good thing Foggy’s hopelessly insecure and codependent,” thought Matt. “Otherwise I would’ve had to find a new law partner, or worse yet, a job where I’d have to show up on time, years ago.”
Smugly reflecting on how sweet it is that he can show up late for work without anybody giving him any guff, Matt thwacked his cane back and forth on the sidewalk in front of him as he walked. Matt was a blind man and “definitely” “not” a blind man with hyper senses and a nearly unparalleled mastery of the martial arts. And he’ll sue any newspaper that publishes so much as an implication to the contrary. In fact, he already had.
“Being a lawyer is great, sometimes,” Matt thought. “If a newspaper reveals my secret identity, I can sue them into oblivion. I can sue all kinds of people. Heck yeah I can.”
That’s what Matt thought as a bell above the front door signaled his arrival into Hell’s Breakfast Nook – a trendy new cafe that sold craft beer, kept various articles of bohemian newsletters in a stack by the door, and adorned its wall with abstract paintings of dead rock stars. To some longtime denizens of Hell’s Kitchen, establishments like Hell’s Breakfast Nook signaled a looming gentrification of their cherished neighborhood.
Matt wasn’t sure how to feel about gentrification. On the one hand, via his working class roots, he maintained a degree of pride in Hell’s Kitchen’s scrappy identity, and bristled somewhat at the notion of yuppies gradually draining all the character out of The Kitchen. On the other hand, he was a yuppie himself, and liked the idea of having more stuff for rich people nearby his house. On the other other hand, gentrification begets homelessness, homelessness begets crime, and Matt wasn’t too fond of crime.
“Crime is a bastard,” he thought.
But he had more germane matters to attend to at the moment.
“I know I want coffee, and the coffee at this place smells like it’ll be a few notches above the instant swill at the office….But what if I don’t end up having time for lunch later? Then I’ll really be kicking myself for not getting something to eat here….”
“Excuse me?” said Matt, after the only other customer in line ordered a latte. “I know I would like a large medium roast coffee, but do you have a version of the menu in braille?”
“Uh….Jeez, I don’t think so,” replied the slightly hungover undergrad barista, unaware that this dapper gentlemen could easily “read” an ordinary menu with his fingertips (as long as it wasn’t laminated). Also, Hell’s Breakfast Nook did have a braille menu on hand, but this was only her second day, and her superiors had forgotten to tell her about it anyway.
“Well, in that case, would you or someone else mind reading the menu to me? Just the sandwiches? If it isn’t too much trouble….”
“No trouble at all!” replied the barista, eager to be a help to the ostensibly disabled.
After the barista read Matt the sandwich selection, clearly but quickly so as to not excessively delay the handful of customers that had lined up behind him, Matt ordered a turkey and avocado wrap, and took a few steps to the side of the counter where he received his coffee. Then he emptied a pair of cream packets into the paper cup, and took a sip. The coffee was strong with robust flavor. Matt was satisfied with his purchase.
Although he looked forward to his turkey and avocado wrap – which he hoped would fill him up and replace some of the energy expended during the prior night’s rampage against the underworld – Matt noticed via his sense of hyper smell that much of Hell’s Breakfast Nook’s fare catered to vegetarians and vegans. Matt himself had dabbled in vegetarianism during his time with Karen – who in life, was a devout opponent of the meat industry and all its associated cruelties. The suddenly-refreshed memory of her tragic loss ruined his good mood. It didn’t help matters when he realized – again, via hyper senses – that someone in the kitchen had knocked over a large vat of scrambled eggs, and the staff had been too busy cleaning up to make his turkey avocado wrap.
After another 10 minutes of waiting, Matt decided to get a little pushy.
“Uh, excuse me?” he pretended to say in hopes that someone would hear him, while fully aware an unkempt young gentleman in a T-shirt advertising a band called “Portal” and an apron was stumbling out of the kitchen well-within earshot.
“Yes sir?” said the cook, who already had a pretty good idea what the problem was.
“I ordered a turkey avocado wrap almost a half hour ago?”
“Ah, yeah, we’re really sorry. Somebody knocked over a big vat of scrambled eggs and we’ve been having a heck of a time mopping that up. It’s totally backed up all of our orders.”
“Well, how long do you think I should expect to wait?”
“You know what – let me run back there and make it myself right now. ‘Nuther few minutes, tops.”
“Sounds alright,” said Matt. By listening for skips in the cook’s heartbeat, Matt knew the cook had told the truth (or what he thought to be the truth) when he assured Matt the turkey and avocado wrap would be ready within minutes.
“If my sandwich takes so little time to make, why have I been standing here like an idiot for this long?” thought Matt. “Although, maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental. Food service is much more difficult than a lot of people realize.” Matt knew this all-too-well from his own brief stint working as a line cook.
“Hey, sir? I got yer turkey avocado.” Waving a to-go bag within Matt’s reaching distance, the cook went on, “Here go! Also, I sincerely apologize about the wait.”
“Not a big deal at all,” Matt replied, before snatching the bag, pulling a fiver out of his wallet, and placing it in the tip jar.
“Hey, you’re alright mister!”
“You too. Have a nice one.”
Soon enough, Matt was sitting behind his desk munching on his tardy lunch. He supposed – though could not be certain – that the cook had stuffed more turkey into the tortilla than he normally would, as an additional gesture of apology for the hassle. The meat and vegetables were fresh, but Matt’s preternatural sense of taste indicated an avocado spread that should’ve been served sooner – although it was surely fresh enough for an average person’s palate.
Foggy never knocked before entering Matt’s office. He knew Matt heard him coming long before he approached the door.
“Hey buddy!” said Foggy, announcing himself with his usual aimless enthusiasm.
“What’s up, Foggy?”
“Wondered if you want to take a lunch break with me?”
“Mmm, actually, I just finished eating. Also, actually, I just got here.”
“Oh sorry. I was preparing for court all morning and haven’t been able to notice who’s coming or going.”
“I take it you’ll have some briefs for me to look over when you get back?”
Just before making his exit, Foggy noticed Matt toss his to-go bag in the waste paper basket.
“Ooooh, you went to the new place a few blocks down? Any good?”
“It was okay. Much better-than-average coffee. Pretty good turkey wrap, except they took forever to make it.”
“Huh. Maybe I’ll check it out sometime. Talk to you in an hour or two!”
And then Foggy went out for lunch, as Matt set his attention on the work of the day.