I still don't care much for Starbucks, but the exclusive hours of my favorite cafes couldn't compare to a capitalistic convenience of 24 hours. Working at home means nothing gets done, and working at my hipster hangouts will only result in me getting kicked out at closing time.
Walking into this caffeinated compromise was like joining a mass of cattle herd being led to the slaughter. Cramped side by side at the lap top station with some 20 other would-be intellectuals, and even with this many bodies intimately nestled in academia, there's none warm. Not the night life everyone is accustomed too, but indeed one Shamelessly chosen by profession and ultimately destined by purpose.
However, 1 part coffee and 9 parts sugar/cream/milk mixture is a fate I wish upon no man. I wish for fairly traded black gold, so pure, so freshly subdued, that creams and sugars would taint its purity.
I will not find that here.
But I do find arousing senses of nostalgia, only complemented by a cast of A list characters from my life.
(Old High School Basketball Coach Whose Name I Don't Remember enter stage left)
Cue: Nice conversation and eventual "What's your name again?"
A Brazilian from my Uni enters. We exchange pleasant greetings in Portuguese, and although I enjoy the banter, I wonder if I'll ever finish my work.
That was when I spied two high school cronies. Big Tex and Don Juan were stopping by for coffee after taking Little Juan, Don's brother, to a shady strip club for his 18th birthday, which no one enjoyed, and I disapproved of.
"You should have gotten him a gift card for Starbucks," says I.
Then I remembered the cup of sugar I had just downed.
"Never mind...that's no good either."
The night has taken me into tomorrow, and I must finish my work. I see a cop walk in, which I would have normally ignored. Except, I knew this turkey. We stayed in an all boys dorm during my first year of undergrad. He always smoked cigarettes and ALWAYS gave really firm handshakes.
I waved, like a tool. No smile from him. No firm handshake. Just an nod at my presence, and a swift step to snatch his free public servant cup-o-Joe. After a string of cameos I was excited to see anyone from my past, and this just killed it. Perhaps he had a hankering for that free cup, and the call of duty left no time for a reunion.
Either way I felt stupid.
I smiled at a cop, I'm still working, but worst of all; I payed for my coffee.