Today is my last day at the coffee shop. Summer is a busy time with UI Shakes (talked about here), and the upcoming Backspace conference, so I’ll return in the fall. If my book doesn’t sell. 😉
To set it up for you, my shop is located in the inner city, down the street from a homeless shelter and across the road from a condemned block. Next door is a local pizza shop that is awesome and across the other street (it’s on a corner) is a park and an elementary school. It is the best coffee shop in the entire world and could only be made better with the addition of a rainforest and a pen full of puppies.
Now, most of our clientele are totally normal. They come in wearing ties or skirts and have meetings. They bring babies or friends and chat for hours. We get college students and architects and all kinds of boring people. Who wants to hear about them? Nobody!
What you want to hear about, my friend, are the crazies. And there are a lot of them! For example there’s a woman named Gloria who is convinced we are best friends and stops by to put pennies in my tip jar. I could tell you all kinds of crazy stories. But I’ll just tell you my favorite one:
A guy walks into my coffee shop (ba-dum-ching! Oh wait, that’s not the good part, that’s just the set-up). He’s a middle aged guy in jeans and a t-shirt. He looks pretty normal. He orders a small iced coffee and pays for it, which is usually a good sign. I set about getting his iced coffee and think I hear him talk to me. I turn around. No, he’s not talking to me. He’s talking to somebody who is not there. Now, this happens fairly often- people mumble to themselves incoherently and then leave- but not this guy. He gets his iced coffee, sits down, and converses with the empty chair next to him. Loudly.
Now the whole store is staring at him. All the normal people I mentioned before? They’re all there, and they’re getting a little freaked out. And it’s not an angry conversation! Just a kind of light-hearted but pointed debate. Nonetheless, he’s debating somebody we can’t see.
I am just thinking of ways to kick him out (“Sir, you and your friend are being a little loud…”) when he looks at the empty doorway and says, “Oh good! You’re here! Let’s go.” He motions for Invisible Friend #1 to follow him and proceeds to leave with TWO invisible friends, chatting happily.
Welcome to my store, folks. Feel free to stick around. 🙂