The smell of coffee was intoxicating. Providing more comfort than the impending taste. It wasn’t about sipping the cup through the afternoon. I was dying for the comfort of holding a warm mug. I could picture it so clearly in my mind’s eye. The solace provided by holding that cup. . . my God. I could feel the productivity returning to my finger tips.
The barista brought my attention back to reality. He’d caught me day dreaming, much to my embarrassment. He was tall and had the slender build of a long distance runner. He smiled at me, as I wiped away the memory of my morning from my brow. His smile was wicked; knowing. Chuckling as he poured me my afternoon-pick-me-up cup of coffee, he said.
–Don’t worry, you’re almost through right? You can make it.
I gratefully accepted my travel cup. Wrapping my hands around the warmed cardboard sleeve, I thought; this is what perfection feels like.
–Thank you. Really, I appreciate it. It’s been a long week, man. A really long week. Although, I shouldn’t be complaining to you. I mean, Christ. People and their food; it’s crazy. But people and their coffee. Now that’s a whole new nightmare.
He wiped his hands on his green apron, smiling his devilish smile.
–You’ve done food industry before. You should know better. Don’t feel sorry for me.
I raised my eyebrows. I wasn’t feeling sorry for him, we all choose our lives.
–For real. Under caffeinated people are terrifying! Like a rabid animal foaming at the mouth.
He rubbed the back of his head. Brown eyes flicking to the left and right of him, checking to make sure no one was near enough to hear us. He leaned over the counter, whispering.
–Ma’am. If you’re mean to us, we find our ways. You yell, and we’ll mess with you. Not just messing up your name on the cup. That’s just kicks n’ giggles. I’m sayin’, you order non-fat. We’ll give you cream. You ask for a double shot of espresso, we’ll make sure its not caffeinated.
I started laughing from the shock of it. It was a ballsy way to get revenge. A high risk en devour.
–Aren’t you nervous that you’ll get caught?
–Naw. People like that, they don’t come here for the coffee. They come in here because they need to feel power. They need to feel like they are in control.
–It’s clearly working for them.
His laughter had a maniacal ring to it. He winked.
–Aw, you bet it is.