Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Romancing the coffee bean

She came in the coffee shop today. I hadn't seen her for maybe four or five years. A single mom with the stress of a teen-age daughter with too much mascara and a sullen younger boy. They occasionally were with her on school holidays, pretending they didn't know each other. We spoke briefly and caught up--she's working in a different suburb now, having coffee at another place.

A finish carpenter also stopped by in those days. A fun guy with a twinkle in his eye. We always chatted. Another woman used to call him "the stud muffin" after he left--always a little swagger, full of himself, but oh so in love with his metallic cherry red pick-up truck.

He started chatting up Ms. Lonely Mom. Soon he was walking her to her car, as though it wasn't safe for a woman at 7:45 a.m. in Upper Arlington to walk alone through a coffee shop parking lot. Then one day I saw him kiss her at her car door as he opened it. Oh, so gallant.

That's the last time I saw him. She continued to come in, anxiously watching the door and parking lot. Maybe she was just too needy. Maybe he saw the children. Or maybe he found another coffee shop.

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