It’s been a while since I wrote about a character from my bus ride. And I suppose it will be a little longer because this character actually comes from the coffee shop.
My coffee maker died this morning. There was no last gasp or pungent cloud of smoke. I ground up some of the coffee beans I brought back from Costa Rica and I loaded up the hopper with them. I pressed the start button and walked away to send a quick email to someone. I figured that when I came back, the coffee would be ready.
Sadly, it was not to be. No amount of rebooting (turning off and on, unplugging and plugging back in), pleading with both the coffee pot and the coffee god, or “slight taps” to the coffee maker apparatus seemed to do anything. My coffee maker was dead. It lasted a few years; maybe less. I am pretty sure my previous coffee maker lasted a dozen.
With no coffee in my system the bus ride to work was a little less pleasant. I checked my pockets and saw that I had a winning “Roll Up The Rim” voucher and decided that I had better stop in before I went to work. I had a lot to do before classes started, so I reminded myself not to dawdle.
The place was practically empty, and luckily, I did not see any of my students lounging there or doing “homework”–I put that in quotations because I often chastise my students for not doing their homework at home.
Service was slow at this once fast paced shop. Construction in the area seems to have reduced the traffic. The place used to be full and there always used to be a street beggar holding open the doors for people. Since I haven’t seen one in a while, I am convinced they have all moved to more lucrative locations.
While waiting to be served, I noticed a stunning woman walk in. I could describe her by saying that she was not conventionally beautiful, but I think that is a bit of a cop out. What I mean is, such a term is lazy and probably inaccurate. I think many people would agree with me in declaring her beautiful, but I wouldn’t describe her as the kind of beauty that haunts the neighbourhood that I work in. She had dark hair, somewhere between dark red and blue/black. She had on a dark shade of lipstick that I could not recall ever seeing on someone. Maybe it was navy or maybe it was a dark blue green shade. She was fashionably dressed, but not predictably so. She wore a print skirt and a leather jacket. It wasn’t rebellious fashion, but rather confident and personal. And importantly, for this story at least, she moved like a dancer who wasn’t dancing, but kind of was.
I stood, almost next to her, wondering if she was an actor (we are using this term for both male and female now, aren’t we?. My instincts are not great about this, but it was the only conclusion I could draw. As she was the most interesting person I had come across in a while, I wanted to meet her. The problem was that I couldn’t think of anything to say that wouldn’t sound like a pickup line. If only we had been in a bookstore.
She approached the same counter I had used as I was putting on my gloves–partly to protect me from the cold weather that is still hanging around and partly to protect my had from the scalding hot coffee in the cup, which was only barely kept from spilling by a flimsy plastic lid.
She ordered a hot chocolate.
It isn’t that this is so incredible, but rather because it is relatively normal, but so against type for those that frequent the coffee shop.
I gathered up my coffee and didn’t look back. My mind lingered though. I had the distinct impression that I had missed something.