I do not lie! I do not lie!
Forget delayed gratification, I need my frothy, fluffy, double shot, extra non-fat, extra sugar-free caramel fix FIRST THING!
And I’ll do whatever it takes to get it!
Get up late? Exceed the limit.
Forget cash? Check truck seats and plaster a smile for good measure.
Forget pants? Use discarded beach towel as a sarong. (This is, after all, California….who gives a rip, anyway?)
Hurricane? Steal a boat.
Seriously, man, I need my coffee NOW!
This day, THIS DAY? Bad karma, crossed stars, glitch in the matrix, whatever, coffee run was not to be BLITZKRIEGED!
Good start, though, considering. Hot water stuck on “Scald” and the only dry towel was a pink “My Little Pony” washcloth.
No worries. Got this.
Found the keys, minor miracle.
Found the door, no complaints.
Truck has gas. Day’s looking better all the time.
Sun’s out. I’m early enough to beat the tech crunch rush from the chichi new startup in the old warehouse up the hill.
I’m feeling a song coming on, and crank up the AM radio in my ’59 Chevy pickup. Woohoo, 1970s Top 40 never sounded so good!
I’m making lights, yep, another one green!
Find me a lottery ticket, it’s my day, man!
And there it is, I see it just over the next rise! My stand alone, mom and pop cafe, built of old barn boards, because, yes, it was an old barn, stable actually. Spend the day there blowing time and I come out smelling just a little of old hay and older horses.
Turned high end coffee with flavors and styles and methods beyond their imagination, Mom and Pop, they’ve handed over the reins to Son and son’s life partner. The darkened shake shingles of the roof, looking nearly burned, shine in the new morning sun. The sagging overhang of the front awning looks less treacherous and less likely to fail than usual, and when I swing into the crunchy gravel lot along side, I consider enjoying my Godly nectar outside on the front porch.
The way my day is starting, I’m willing to take a chance!
Taking a moment to savor the last guitar riff of “Stairway to Heaven,” I flick off the radio with gusto and leap out of the truck.
I am on a roll!
The wooden slats, long past needing replacing, creak and give way ever so slightly as I step up on the long low porch. I reach for the screen door, circa 1950, judging by the metal advert for PepsiCola bisecting its middle. It slams , tingy and hollow behind me, and I find myself in aromatic, coffee heaven.
Mismatched chairs and stools line the room, the walls just the insides of the same rotting boards on the outside. Insulation or sheetrock or clever phrases caligraphied cleverly and tastefully on every surface?
Giant construction spools make up tables, there’s even an old ladder laden with 2x4s for a community bench. Dotted here and there, mostly in shadow, folks wrap two hands around their hand-thrown pottery cups, leaning in for earnest conversation. A low murmur fills the room, not a smartphone playlist. Trendy might come in, but trendy don’t stay. They take their drinks like most all of us, but they take them in takeaway cups and take them away. Folks spending time here are a grizzled mismatched bunch, but like me, they savor their first cup, slow and seated, not grabbed and gulped.
To each his own, I say.
Ah, yes, I sniff in deep and long, the aroma heady, almost foggy.
This day, this day shows promise.