Sunday, August 18, 2013

Coffee Guy

I'm not exactly a people person. By that I don't mean that I'm a jerk or that I shun personal contact. What I really mean is that I rarely go out of my way to build any sort of rapport with random people that I encounter in my life unless I need to. If you're a coworker or a friend of a friend, sure, we'll talk a bit. If you're my upstairs neighbor who I already disdain for your bad taste in music, well, let's just say I'm going to do my best to keep my distance.

This also goes for people that I often buy things from. I don't particularly want the guy at Taco Bell to know what I like to order let alone my name or any details about my life. Basically I like to keep the people who sell me stuff as nothing more than a vending machine that says thank you and hopefully doesn't make pithy comments about the weather.

Despite all of this I let my coffee guy into my soul.

I didn't want it to happen because I knew the pain that I would endure when everything ended. Yet Coffee Guy broke me down. It might be the way he would greet me with "Good morning, boss!" on Tuesday through Friday. Nah, as much as I love being called "Boss" it was his Monday greeting that always got me.

"I made the coffee extra strong for you, boss. Mondays are a son of a bitch."

Yeah, Coffee Guy was the best. I say was because he has abandoned me. He disappeared without a trace. He has been replaced by a surly guy with a paper hat. My world has shattered.

The way I commute can probably best be described as sleepwalking. Sure, I'm completely dressed and "awake" from the minute I leave my house but in all honesty I'm not there. Not mentally. Hell, half the time I keep my eyes closed while going down the tunnel at the PATH because I know it by heart, I don't need the eyes, may as well trick my body into thinking we're back in bed.

The first time I feel really awake is when I get to my coffee stand. I chose this one because it was about two blocks from my building giving me just enough time to take a few enormous pulls on my large iced coffee which I pay two dollars for. Not $2.25 like the price says, $2 because Coffee Guy knows I never had change and he doesn't feel like making me take 3 quarters from him. Once again, Coffee Guy was the best.

Now I don't know what to do. I had to tell the new guy what I wanted, after a week Coffee Guy knew my order. New guy just threw the straw down on the counter with my drink and handed me a napkin; Coffee Guy put the straw in the coffee (leaving the top on so he doesn't touch the business end) and wrapped the napkin around the cup so that my hand doesn't get wet from condensation. New guy charges me full price, doesn't smile, didn't say thank you, and sure as shit would never call me boss.

I feel a need to go to every coffee stand in the city until I find Coffee Guy so I can beg him to come back to his old stand and make my mornings tolerable once again.

You know that scene in As Good as it Gets when Nicholson buys the fancy doctor to take care of the asthmatic kid so that Helen Hunt will go back to work? I always thought that scene was bullshit. I knew the idea was that Nicholson was doing it out of selfish reasons because he was OCD but I saw through that and knew he was going to be making a move on her eventually. No one would spend that much money, even if they were loaded, just to get their regular waitress to come back to work.

Now I get it. If Coffee Guy has been at home taking care of an asthmatic child I will cure that lil' bastard if it means that Coffee Guy returns to his stand. If Coffee Guy is in the clink I will gladly pay his bail, if he's had a falling out with the mob after betting too much at the turtle races I will pay his debt or let the mobsters break my knees instead. I will slay a fucking dragon with a nail file if the end result is Coffee Guy giving me my quarter discount on my delicious iced coffee tomorrow morning.

I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that I'm out of my mind and I should just get over it. Maybe strike up some sort of rapport with the new guy or just go to a different cart. I can't do that. I can't cheat on Coffee Guy. When it comes to coffee purveyors I'm a penguin; I mate for life, friend.

Also, if I were to strike up any sort of rapport with an asshole who wears a paper hat in public I'd kick my own ass. I have a little dignity.

Hopefully he just took the week off. If he's not there tomorrow I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe find his new stand and start to convince my company to relocate. I'm telling you, it's worth it. The coffee is so good. . . or at least I wouldn't have to talk to a guy in a paper hat.

No comments:

Post a Comment