What you hope for in a barista in any economy


is a greeting and a smile and reasonable attentiveness.
A comment of good will, yes, that’s always nice.
Really, anything more than the perfunctory is lovely:
“Good morning. Did you see the stars this morning?”
“No I didn’t,” I say.
“Oh they were brilliant, you could have plucked them like strings.”
“Really, I will need to go outside tomorrow before dawn.”
“Oh yes do, you’ll hear the music of spheres.”
“I’ll have a grande…”
“The original music that preceded the first word.”
“…Anniversary Blend.”
“Yes exactly.”
“I’m sorry?”
“I’ve not seen them like that since last year—brilliant as to be irreverent…do you understand?”
“I’m not sure.” (I give her my card.)
“Even now I see them. I wish I could get them out of head.”
“Well, I’m sure the memory will let up.”
“They will be coming for me tonight, or perhaps under the cover of daylight, would you like your receipt?”
“No thank you.”
“Right you are, no use being caught with anything that can be traced.”
“What?”
“Your drink will be waiting for you at the end of the bar but don’t check the bottom of the cup until you’re finished the coffee.”
“Certainly makes sense thanks.”
“Everything finite reveals the infinite, have a good day.”

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