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Magda stood at the counter at Starbucks with her left ankle resting behind her neck, contemplating what to order. She hated Starbucks — hated coffee, in fact, preferring to keep her lithe body free of the poisons of caffeine, opting instead for herbal teas. But the Cirque was up to three sold out shows a day on their European tour, and she was exhausted and in need of a quick caffeine fix.

The problem, she thought, was that there was too much choice. Indecision made her anxious, and anxiety made her contort. She felt most comfortable when her body was twisted far beyond what was thought to be humanly possible. It relaxed her mind and cleared her head. Hence, her ankle sitting jauntily behind her neck, while the coffee house patrons gawped in disbelief.

Hmm. A double chocolate mint frappucino? No, she wasn’t such a fan of mint. She placed her left hand through the space between her leg and her head, and held on to her right ear. A Chestnut Praline Latte? No, sounded much too rich. She sat on the ground and wrapped her right leg over top of her head. A Creme Brulee latte? No no no, not quite right. She stood on her hands and extended the left leg over her right ear. An Iced Cinammon Dolce Latte? An Eggnog Latte? A Gingerbread frappucino? An Iced Caremel Macchiato??

By this time, Magda had twisted herself into the human version of a sailor’s knot on the floor. The yummy mummies in Starbucks were glaring with ill-concealed jealousy, the young men staring in ecstatic delight. She was causing a stir, and she still hadn’t made up her mind.

She stood on her knees, with her spine bent backwards and her head sticking out the front, her arms over her legs. Finally, when she could twist no more, she came to a decision.

Rocking from side to side, she slowly moved her way in her pretzel-like position to the cashier, whose jaw was hanging open as if unhinged. Magda cocked her head up as far as it could go, and from the floor said “One black coffee, please.”

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