Friday, July 20, 2007

There’s a passage in Douglas Coupland’s “Life after God” that talks about looking at the world around you and reading the events like you would symbols in a foreign film. If a bike rides by, or a bird crosses your field of vision – what does that mean? What does it say about the world at large? It’s sort of like Jung’s idea of synchronicity – there are no mistakes; every event is indicative of some deeper meaning in the universe.

Yeah, I don’t buy it either. I mean, I do think how you look at the world (what with all your baggage) says something you. And I definitely think that your attitude goes a long way in determining how “good” or “bad” your day is – that’s just practical. But the whole “I can make it rain just by meditating, and quantum theory proves it!” thing – chill, dude, the nurse will be by with your Dixie cup any minute now.

But I do have brief, fleeting moments where I feel like Will Farrell in that “Stranger Than Fiction” movie, where his life is being written in a book by Emma Thompson. Except in my case, I suspect it’s a screenplay, an early draft, and the screenwriter is just screwing around, writing nonsense scenes that’ll never make it into the final cut.

I was out of coffee this morning. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate; I do have a pound sitting on my counter from the Boyer Coffee “Bargain Barn” (No, seriously, they call it that! Bill Boyer may be a prejudiced old fire-and-brimstone style Southern Baptist, but his coffee is 4.95 a pound, bitches!) The problem, however, is the fact that the toddy brewing method I use requires brewing the beans overnight, which I forgot to do. So I stop over at Café Europa, which I haven’t been to in years. It’s a pretty cool place; full menu, great atmosphere, pretty good coffee, but the original owner had a reputation for chronic outbursts of bitchiness. But that was five years ago – seeing as the place has been through, like, three owners since then, I figured it was high time for me to get back.

So before I even order my coffee, I ask the proto-cutie barista (funky glasses, short hair, low slung jeans, and I’m sure there’s a tattoo in there somewhere) if I can pay for just a cup of coffee with my debit card.

“Sure,” she tells me, just as sprightly as you would expect “you know, credit card minimums are actually illegal.”

Interesting enough little insight right there; but more interesting to me, personally… was she just flirting with me? I mean, she could have just given me a dismissive “Yup”, and continued on about her business. But she actually engaged in further conversation; she showed concern for my credit card transaction habits, with a smile that reflected a little in her eyes. The wife assures me that the grey in my goatee is just blonde. I mean, I could still pass for, I dunno, twenty-eight, right? RIGHT???

So I strut away from the counter, and pick up this weeks issue of The Onion, which proceeds to mocks me, mercilessly, with this headline…


Speaking of The Onion (notice the not-so-smooth segue) unless I completely jack up on my first official assignment, I’ll be doing some occasional freelancing for the city section starting in mid-August. That’s right – my stuff on real-live dead tree! Which is, like, 33% more street cred than blogging alone! It's so weird to think something I write is going to be edited - I guess that means no more ritualistic abuse of the semicolon. ( ; )

(See how cool and dismissive and sarcastic I’m being? Yeah, I’m sitting in a pool of my own urine, I’m so excited. It's making me delusional-- see "thinks 21 year old barista is flirting with him" above.)


David Simmons said...

It may not be possible to make it rain just by meditating, but I swear I just made it rain by opening my notebook computer while at an outdoor coffee house patio.

I am in Portland, though. For my next feat, I shall make it hot in Phoenix.

Peter said...

congrats ted

Blackpetunia said...

I've always felt like a character in a foreign film, but I'm sure I've already said that at some point.
I look forward to your articles in the paper...

merf said...

Congrats and much sucess! Course you are an amazing writer and I have no doubt people will love your work!

caffeinator_x said...


Heidi said...


Here's another little level of irony to your story....
I'm the "barista" from your story.
I'm not really a barista, I'm the owner, but don't tell anyone, I like being under the radar.

I'm also from the Deep South, and a Toddy expert if you ever want that thing to make other stuff, or make it taste better (try ours!)

21 I will take as a compliment.

Don't feel bad. Or confused. In my ten years behind a coffee counter, I have shamelessly flirted with every customer in the door. It's good for business. I'm working on a screenplay about baristas and one of the things it explores in depth is the "flirty" thing.

You made my day =) Thanks!

And congrats on the Onion gig! Good luck!

caffeinator_x said...

Hey, Heidi!

Thanks so much for your feedback(and sense of humor), I'd gonna stop in some time and talk to you more about your shop - so don't think I'm a stalker or anything!

One question - if you happen to read this again - how did you find out about my little corner of cyberspace? It's amazing to me sometimes who DOES vs. who DOESN'T!

Heidi said...

I didn't find your niche of cyber space. I didn't have too.... the regulars take care of that. New posts anywhere, about anything involving the store are brought to our attention within a week, every time. I think it's kinda fun.