11.05.2007

the man and the barista

he grabs his mug as if he needs more. his eyes sharp and his coat in formal one. outside is a black sedan tinted in dark black and attached with 18" aluminum mag that mixes with his suit quite well. he sits in the couch comfortable. he waits. he smiles at the barista whom he knows for years now. an everyday customer for the barista, an everyday ritual for the man. this is the place that nurtures him; a continuation of his past childhood.

he does not linger around nor look at others. he does not care. he minds his own business. for the barista, he is someone he knows, but a stranger that no one knows. for the other drinkers around, he is no one but a businessman waiting for his partner. he is not the man reading his novel. he is not the man that changes his drink every now and then. he is not the man that speaks a lot. he is not the man that stays for nothing.

it may seem that he is just waiting, but he is not. he is not waiting for anything, but he is comfortable. he is waiting. in the couch where he sits everyday from six to eight in the morning and four to seven in the afternoon, he is comfortable. sometimes, he even sits there during saturdays and sundays around eight to ten in the morning and nine to twelve at night.

the barista wonders what he does for a living, is he married or divorced. he does not look like single. he looks responsible. he looks strong and powerful. but then, the barista never asks. he only asks what question. cash or credit. the barista knows the man's drink. he knows when to put sugar and when to leave it as is. he also knows when to do it cold or hot.

there is sugar when the man visits in the morning and at night. it goes as is if it is already in the afternoon. he once told the friend barista. the morning and night is like the sunrise and sunset. your store is not the beach nor the bay, but i treat it as such. the sunrise and sunset is the sweetest. it is the beginning and end. that is why i want sugar in my coffee in morning and at night. i want it sweet, enough that it still tastes like coffee. that was only once. from then on, the barista never forgot.

it goes cold and freeze when he visits in the afternoon. it also goes cold when he is just wearing his polo. it goes hot without cream when he visits in the morning and at night. just like the sugar. it also goes hot when he is wearing his coat. it is that simple.

the barista knows a lot about this man. he knows the drink he takes everyday and every time. he knows when to talk to him and when not to ask. he knows his card number. he knows his surname and his plate number. he knows his smell and he knows when to compliment.

the man is not known. he is just the barista's subject, just like the others that drink here. he make stories out of people. he make stories our of them. the man is his favorite, because the man is mysterious. his stories do not fit him. his stories for him do not fit at all. the man is different. the man makes him wonder. he makes him think. he makes him think deeper.

in the end, he concludes. the man, all men, not just men, but all, drinks and goes to him because of that same reason. all people that goes to him and approaches him not just craves for his drink. they crave for the nurture he gives. these people crave for the nurture that this place gives. this place, him, is the continuation of their past childhood. they suck their coffees as if sucking their milk. they sit in the chair and couch as if this is their home. they go to this place to wait; sit as if this place is their crib.