[ISSUE I] What if we were allowed to just exist and be happy? by Ari Ochoa Petzold

Inspired by Katharine McCain’s essays “Today Your Barista Is: Genre Characteristics in The Coffee Shop Alternate Universe” & “Fans Love It a Latte: The Rise and Participatory Nature of Coffee Shop AUs.”


They are going to an AU’s coffee shop in which every wall hangs a photograph of Claude Cahun, they delight in the surreal beauty of “Aveux Non Avenus”. & the name on their mocha is alive instead of the dead one scribbled fastly by an underpaid overworked barista over a starbucks cup.

& there they meet the girl of their dreams, writing spells of encouragement like “You are enough” next to the name, she sees their pronouns tag & doesn’t say anything more. For they don’t desire a melodramatic spectacle, they just need this room filled with warm light in the middle of a storm, where they just exist & are seen by no one but her, the barista who “forgot” her tag because it doesn’t match her flowery blouse.

This is the queer’s rom-com, where the end isn’t a big declaration of love, but rather a question:

“Would you go out with
me?” she asks. & I say “yes”.
Free of fear, we kiss.


Ari Ochoa Petzold (they/xe) is a Mexican-Venezuelan genderfluid writer who currently lives in México. They like dancing to old music and history. In their free time you can find them trying to coerce their friends to participate in another of their crazy projects. Find more of their work in the Sea Glass Magazine, Hooligan Mag and at Instagram in @Ari_gibberish.

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