December 20, 2011

Going Out For Coffee

I imagine my response was not typical.

The owner of the coffee bar/s at which I work informed me that I'd be getting a week of paid time off, to be taken over the holiday, and wasn't that great? I stopped short of asking if I had to take it, and if perhaps I could just scrub floorboards instead.

"Well, um, if you do need hours, call me. I'm not going anywhere. At all. So I can work. If you want. Please. No really. Don't hesitate." I couldn't have sounded more like a desperate would be boyfriend, grasping at the unraveling strands of an unraveling relationship.

He assured me that they would be all right, and that I might relax. Perhaps I could go somewhere, or maybe just find ways to entertain myself around Lawrence. I said that I would think of something, knowing well enough that I probably wouldn't.

So, yesterday. Day one. I awoke whenever my body felt like it, and went about preparing oatmeal and coffee. The former was fine, the latter, strangely, was off. It tasted just fine - good even. I brewed using my usual pour over technique, and used some very good beans (that I need to review, probably). But as I sat, sipping in my black jeans, I realized that I didn't need to wear the jeans at all. And that informed me of the problem.

So I kept the jeans on, found a suitable shirt to toss on as well, and headed out the door. I drove downtown, and walked through the "wintry mix" to a coffee shop. My shoes had gotten soggy, my hair matted, and the rest of me, cold. I could have stayed home, saved my feet and my money. But as I looked around, seeing the people, hearing the sounds of grinding and hissing and popping, mostly, just caking myself in the atmosphere, I knew why I didn't.

I ordered a double espresso, sat at the bar, and sipped. I looked out the windows at the people walking by, hunched and half jogging, trying to dodge the precipitation. I saw others reading books, entranced by laptops, and chatting with someone else. There was flannel and jeans, thick rimmed glasses and jazz that sounded like it was filtered through a sock. And the coffee tasted right.

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