September 14, 2009

Barista's 10:15 am

We planned this coffee date last night--long before we had to wake up and stagger in this morning. This was to be a celebratory coffee of the temporary return of two good friends, and the send-off of another to Eastern Europe.

Instead, small groups of us file slowly into the Sunday morning coffee line. We are five strong in the line, but then another finds her way to us. She's twenty minutes late and in the clothes from last night. We all smile in anticipation of the sure-to-be entertaining story. This is almost too college: a group of well-traveled, bright young women, who are always sarcastic, and always, always, always talking about sex.

You can tell a lot about a woman by the coffee drink she orders. After an intense wait in the line, we are gathered around the table drinks in hand. I have a small soy latte and bran muffin, making me the youngest 78-year-old in the world. To my right, a large vanilla latte marks an indulgent choice for a health-nut; next to her sits a small peppermint mocha, the ultimate rebellious drink in the summertime. On the other side of the table, one sits without a drink, she's too hung-over for a sugary, lactose-filled beverage. Next to her, a tame medium vanilla chai compliments the boldness of its drinker. Across from me sits a caramel latte that I gifted because of her perpetual bad luck with stupid men. To my left, the one with the pending story holds a large raspberry hot tea.

We all look at raspberry tea, waiting.

She doesn't disappoint us.