Tuesday, October 23, 2007


     My morning coffee is very important to me. I order the same thing each day: tall latte, 2%. This routine has made things much easier since the accident.
     Today, I drive up to the Cup’A’Joe’s and notice the lights are out. Fucking terrific, I mutter between my teeth. I press my face up to the window, directly under the "open" sign and see that there’s movement inside. No customers, but the three baristas I normally see in the morning are prepping for the day. I think Karen’s the one who comes up to open the door for me. I don’t know, some ‘K’ name.
     "What gives?" I ask.
     "Oh, power’s out," she says, "so instead of closing, we called the manager and she said that everything’s on the house until it comes back on. You want your regular?"
     "Uh, yeah! Why not, right?"
     Karen begins making my latte. It’s then that I put into practice what my therapist has been harping on me lately. "Take advantage of life," she’s been saying.
     "Hey," I mumble to Karen, sheeplishly. "You said everything’s on the house, right?"
     "Register’s down. We kinda’ have to." The shrill hiss and whir of the espresso machine stings my ears, so I raise my voice.
     "Okay, I’ll take that bag of dark-roasted, the cushy armchair over there, that wall of cruddy oil paintings, the espresso machine and, oh, I don’t know, a couple of these stools over here."
     "Yeah, funny," Karen replies, bringing my latte to the counter.
     "I’m serious," I say. "You said everything’s on the house."
     "Well, within reason."
     "Who’s reason? My reasoning is pretty much all over the map at this point in my life. C’mon. I’ll help you with the chair and stools, but I don’t have all day."
     By the time we’ve loaded the last of the oil paintings into my truck, it starts to rain. Karen and I run back under the awning of Cup’A’Joe’s.
     "So," she says snidely, "is that all you want?"
     "Actually, I could use a nice blow job."
     Karen slaps me across the face.
     "Fuck you, asshole," she screams, shutting the door and locking it.
     Yeah, maybe I crossed the line there. Too bad. I always really liked Karen, if that was her name. So much for taking my therapist’s advice all the way to the hoop.
     As I pull away, I realize that I forgot my 2% latte. I start to turn the truck around, but think "fuck it" and peel out of the parking lot. The rain stops to a light drizzle as I floor it onto an off ramp and into oncoming traffic.



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