The usual, and really, thanks

This morning was the last time I’ll ever see my current barista.

Caffeine: Even better than rationalizations.

Now, as far as tragedies go, I realize this one isn’t exactly up there.  But still:  Her name is Vivian, she knows “the usual” (large skim mocha, no whip, with very, very, very little chocolate–  seriously, the good folks at Starbucks usually blanche when I explain 0.5 of a pump’ll do), and we rap about the weather, my travels, Christmas lights, life.  She’s leaving, and this morning she thanked me for “…  always being so kind, for the stories.”  (That of course sent me to neurotic town for a moment:  Had I shared too many stories?  In my sometimes hungover state, what had I told this particular barista?)  But I digress, as we do.

Vivian’s departure got me thinking about all the people you encounter as you saunter through life:  the kindly old man at the bookstore, who always wears a tie and walks you to the stacks; or Ron, from the sadly now-defunct best place to rent movies; the mailman who chats about baseball and somehow has a summer place in Cabo (Mail: More lucrative thank you think!); and Debbie at the dry cleaners or Kate in the cafeteria.  Or perhaps I just have more free time than other people.  Perhaps other people don’t “rap” at all, I don’t know.  I do know I forgot Nick the shoemaker.

These are the people in my neighborhood.

And being a writer I’ve spent a good deal of time in coffee shops, some better than others.  At this place I’ve made great friends, even shot some Pretentiously L.A. webisodes.    And of course who can forget when I interviewed my barista?

So as I thanked Vivian the barista for that one time last Thanksgiving, when she let us skate bye on payment for the hot chocolate on our epic afternoon dog walk, I held her in my arms, tears of sorrow streaming down, wailing, really, and said goodbye.

Okay, maybe not, but I did say, ‘The usual, and really, thanks.’

Man, this guy will take any opportunity to plug his own wacky Internet hijinks.

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