I love Cafe Europa, my little local coffee shop. I think it’s owned by people about my age (maybe younger?!), the coffee is fantastic, they make a great breakfast, there’s always interesting art on the walls, and the staff is friendly. I’m excited today because they remembered my drink order. It almost outweighs the fact that the people at the Starbucks by work know my drink order. Coffee… I do love it. I like it simple. It used to be a latte, but then I switched to Americanos. How easy is that order? None of this “double tall iced no whip” nonsense, just “an Americano,” which I would add a little milk to and be on my way. But then I stopped drinking milk, and the order became much more complex:
Me: I’ll have a medium Americano with soy milk.
Barista: There’s no milk in an Americano.
Me: I know, but you don’t leave soy milk out for me to add myself.
Barista: Oh. Right. So how much do you want? Like an inch?
Barista: Steamed or cold?
Me: Cold is fine.
So my order became an “Americano with an inch of cold soy,” which is still a simple drink, but feels a little higher-maintenance than I actually am. At Cafe Europa, though, I may never have to utter those high-maintenance words again because they will just know…
So on my walk home from the coffee shop, some interesting things happened. First, a guy wearing sunglasses (on this slightly overcast morning) who looked like he belonged in Miami circa 1987 was kneeling down in an alley fiddling with something on the ground, got up, kicked it with his foot, and walked past me. Then another guy who was carrying many more belongings on his bicycle than the average person would need in a day rode down the alley, stopped his bike at the thing (which was a DVD case), opened it up to check for something (the DVD? the goods?), put it in his basket, and continued down the alley. I totally think it was something underground. It very well could have been a copy of Legally Blonde, and I am just not aware of the street value of such a fine film. Anyway.
Then I crossed Logan, and saw another weird thing. This older woman wearing camouflage was talking to a younger guy. In her hand she had a freaking gun! At first I thought it must be a toy, but as I was passing she said to her dog (a little mix between something like a corgi and something like a golden, with the cutest little mohawk of fur on the top of his head), “Come on, Smoochie, let’s go learn how to shoot a gun!” It was like a little scene out of a bizarre dark comedy. I’ve seen this lady and Smoochie before, and I know that on Sundays Smoochie gets to decide where he wants to walk, and she just follows him. Maybe he’s been leading her into strange new territory (like Baker? Alamo Placita?), and she feels the need to exercise her right to bear arms or something.
I love my neighborhood very, very much, but sometimes it perplexes me.