Thursday, June 3, 2010

Barista in Love

Because I haven’t mustered the energy to buy coffee for my apartment yet (that's right, I'm officially an apartment-renter in Portland, Oregon!), I’ve been getting my daily fix at work. When I trot down the stairs, debit card in hand, ready to order either a (a) 16-oz skinny vanilla latte or (b) a 16-oz coffee with room, the barista is usually on a smoke break. She leaves her patrons an adorable sign that reads, I’ll be back in five minutes! :) The sign is laminated, striped with bright yellows and blues, neatly (perhaps strategically) perched atop the counter so that her customers can’t be angry when they see a vacant coffee bar—at least not without feeling guilty about it.

Today, though, I’m a little angry. And I don’t feel guilty. It’s the third time this week I’ve waited eight minutes for her to return. When she finally strolls in through the double doors that lead to the parking lot, where she likes to smoke her cigs, I greet her kindly. Despite her portliness, her blue zip-up hoodie hangs loosely off her shoulders, the way a skinny teenager’s does. Her murky hair oozes of fresh cigarette smoke.

“Are you doing anything fun for Memorial Day weekend?” she asks politely, lively, perhaps sensing my annoyance.

“I’m going to San Francisco. To visit friends.”

“Oh, fun!” Her thundering voice correlates with the tubby figure it hails from.

“Yeah. What about you?” I invite her conversation.

“I’m movin’ in with my maaaaaaannn! Uhhh! Honey, I’ve been waitin’ fer this day fer soooo long. And it’s finally here!” Her smile is a Montana sky, wide and stunning.

And then my mood lifts, because I think to myself, there’s nothing like a woman in love.

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  1. Yay! You're back!

    You describe the coffee lady PERFECTLY. Although, today she really crossed the line.. She was talking on her cell phone the entire time she attempted to take my order, make my coffee and pay.

    BTW-- don't be too jealous, but from my new window seat I can actually see her on her smoke breaks... Let's just say she's out there a lot.

  2. You are too cute!! What a wonderful way to come back to the blog! I like it!! I especially like her "thundering voice" - what a great way to describe it. I don't know her, but I'm pretty sure I know what she sounds like :)