Monday, June 15, 2009

Ask Clarissa

So I am in the coffee shop this morning and this guy comes in during a much-needed lull. He’s got his Bluetooth thingy in his ear and a laptop and the morning paper under his arm. He’s drenched in cologne, is wearing a gray suit that looks and smells like he just picked it up from the dry cleaners, and he’s chattering away to someone he is obviously trying to impress. On his phone.

So he gets to the counter. He’s looking right at me while he’s telling Prospective Client how wonderful his company is. He holds up a finger like he might need another minute before he can reenter the real world where I and the coffee shop exist.

I smile nice and say loud enough to make his pointed head jerk a teensy bit, “No prob!”

It is delicious turning away from him and busying myself with the pastry shelves. I get the attention of Mindy who’s building the drinks this morning and I tell her the guy at the counter is mine. She smirks and gets a big bag of beans to grind for the next onslaught of caffeine addicts.

Mr. Cell Phone is pacing a little. He wants his coffee. He wants the deal. He wants everything. He leans over the counter to get my attention. He snaps his fingers. Dear Mindy grinds the beans next to me. Clever girl. I pretend I don’t hear him. Mr. Cell Phone grabs a napkin from the counter and a pen out of his pocket and scribbles something. I am thinking it is his coffee order. I begin to hum a happy tune. Mindy grinds a few beans.

A man comes in the store and smiles at me. I cheerfully ask the new guy what I can get for him. He happily tells me he wants a dark roast with room for cream and a blueberry scone. We complete our transaction with lots of cheerful small talk and the whole time Mr. Cell Phone is jockeying for position so that he can wave that napkin in front of my face, all the while chattering way on his Bluetooth. I give the new guy his change, wish him a fantastic day and immediately turn back to the pastry case to straighten th
e straight doilies.

At long last Mr. Cell Phone says goodbye and the moment he does I look up at him. “All set?” I say oh-so-sweet. He huffs, with a little smile of his own on his face, like I am a cute, dumb blonde who needs a lesson or two on napkin-waving. “I was trying to get your attention!” he says, shaking his head in just about the most patronizing way he could.

“I was trying to get yours,” I say, just as cool as you please.

His mouth drop opens a bit. His glassy, I-need-my-coffee eyes widen. Have I just said what he thinks I have just said?

Oh.yes. I have. I detect the slightest snickering from Mindy.

Mr. Cell Phone simp
ly doesn’t know what to say. I can tell he wants to turn on his fancy heels and go get his coffee elsewhere. But he needs his coffee and he’s got an incoming call.

“Tall cinnamon latte, no cream,” he says flatly.

“You got it,” I respond and I take his five dollar bill. I hand him his change and ask for his name so that I can write it on his cup. He says, “This is John Beckett,” but he is saying it into his Bluetooth, while looking straight at me. He tips his head, as he continues his phone conversation, like he’s saying, “There, smart aleck. You have my name.”

I write “This is John Beckett’s latte” on his cup and wish him an exuberant nice day and I hand the cup to Mindy.

He walks away, and looks back once, and I can tell he’s wondering if he should report me to the manager.

“I am the manager!” I call out to him, with a smile and a wink.

After John Beckett finds the farthest corner of the shop to finish his phone call, Mindy turns to me.

“You know that

“That’s John Beckett,” and I pick up the napkin he left on the counter. It is scribbled with
T Cin lat no w c.

I crumple it and toss it in the trash.

I gotta text Cole. He’s gonna love this. . . Oh, yeah. We went on a date Saturday night. But there’s nothing to tell. Yet.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

wow. would have loved to see that in person!