Ode to the coffee shop

One of the baristas at the coffee shop I frequent is an extremely taciturn and dignified young man, and when he asks if I want sprinkles, he uses a carefully modulated and uninflected tone so as not to make his pain too apparent. Sometimes he draws a little leaf on my mocha. The stories I make up about him in my head have entertained me on many an otherwise profitless morning.  Right now I’m leaning toward the theory that he was formerly a hit man for a mobster in Jersey, and this is his way of atoning for his sins.

One of the frequent customers is a young man who looks just like Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride. And you know I want to be Inigo Montoya when I grow up, so every time I look at him I want to giggle but I don’t because that would be rude, and so I end up smiling at him a lot, and his girlfriend usually looks like she’s getting ready to punch me.



There are a bunch of retired guys, the Slackers, who worry aloud that I am going to put them in a book someday, which means they are assuming I haven’t already, and they will just have to read all my books to find out.

And there is a little marble top table, just the right size for my laptop, if I’ve brought it with me, or a stack of manuscript pages, if I haven’t, and a great deal of entertainment just outside the window, for when I have no idea what I’m going to write next.


My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here. And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

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