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I spent a long time at a coffee shop today because this coffee shop was within walking distance of the place where my car was being fixed. I had some minor things done- but things that have needed doing for 5+ years. Like my seatbelt wouldn’t stay clicked into its seatbelt clicker thing so I always had to click it into the passenger seatbelt. So if I had a passenger- they either had to politely not notice that they were going to ride seatbelt-less if I forgot or they would guiltily observe that I slung my seatbelt around my emergency brake lever so it would look to cops like I had a working seatbelt.

Both my driver and passenger front doors would not open from the outside. I either had to keep a window open or I would have to open the front doors by opening the back doors and reaching around to open the front doors from the inside. This became dangerous if I had to park on a busy street.

And then people started taking stuff from my car. I’m kind of surprised it took them so long to do it. First they took my garage door opener- and then they took my laminator, a Rachael Ray beach bag that my mom gave me and, what was most upsetting to me, an old sweaty/smelly yoga mat.

So it’s summer vacation and This Is The Time to take care of things like this. #boringselfcare So there I was… in a coffee shop for 6 hours.

I bought an iced coffee and a bagel and worked on my statistics class materials (one last thing for that fully official license of mine) for 3 hours. I had to use the bathroom then and decided I definitely needed to order something else. I ordered a chai latte and drank only half of it for another 3 hours.

During this time, I noticed that people were ordering panini sandwiches and that the sandwiches were taking an unexpectedly long time. One woman approached the counter and said “Is it almost done?” The barista replied, “It will be about 10 minutes.” She laughed and then said, “Oh, you’re serious?”

I was engrossed in a problem about how to figure out how many different combinations of songs DJ Spaz could create if he had 5 reggae songs, 3 country songs, 2 blues songs and 4 rock songs while making sure he played at least 2 reggae songs when I heard a loud sigh. I realized how quiet it had gotten. I looked around and saw four other people on phones or laptops and one man with his arms crossed waiting at the counter. Nobody was behind the counter. He put down his almost-empty ice coffee and slapped his thigh, sighing again. He paced a bit, stomped his foot, turned to face the coffee shop patrons and threw up a hand as if to say “Can you believe these people?” without actually saying anything but no one acknowledged him. I started to become afraid he was going to yell… He did not… he just continued with random combinations of slapping his thigh, stomping his foot and sighing (how many different combinations can he do if he wants to do at least 20 impatient acts but not repeat any and get at least 3 good sighs in? Hm…). Finally, a barista emerged from the closet they were using as a kitchen with a panini. The barista did not say a word, but handed the panini to the man who took it, also wordlessly and stormed out of the coffee shop.

At one point, I also observed a woman emerge from the kitchen/closet to answer a question about a drink order. She and the customer talked for a while. She had a peeled red onion in her hand the whole time which she held to the side as naturally as if it were a pocketbook or a cell phone.

I felt bad about staying for so long. But I said “thank you” to the baristas as I left. And I meant it.

 

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