Hot Coffee

Hot Coffee (February 2019, Round 3, Day 5)

You know those days, in the last part of summer, where you can actually see the heat? Those days are dangerous. Those are the days when it’s best to stay indoors with the support of air conditioning and chilled beverages. I’ve never really excelled at doing what’s best.

I thought about staying indoors that day. I listened to the weather lady as I sat in bed with the sheet wrapped around me like I was about to start a soap opera scene. Her excitement over the extreme heat was borderline obscene. She gushed about “real feel” and the “heat index” and the cooling stations being set up around town for those unfortunate enough to not have access to artifically cooled indoor spaces. She did try to warn me. I considered cancelling my plans and postponing my life until the temperature got its shit together. I got up and got dressed anyway.

It all seemed really important that morning, like the world might stop turning if I didn’t go about my Seriously Important Business. It’s not like cafes run themselves, and coffee IS life for a lot of people. Let’s be honest – it wasn’t really the work committments that pushed me out of the door. Work was just a means to an end, a necessity, a role I played to keep appearances up. I didn’t even need the money though I did my best to ignore that part. Wealth is unseemly.

I left my apartment that hot, hot morning because I had something to prove. I needed to be needed and seen and important. None of those would happen behind my front door, so out into the soup I went. I chose to ignore the warnings and defy danger. I chose to flaunt my grit.

Everything was fine for a while. I made it to work sweaty and otherwise unscathed. I got to feel the boost of superiority that comes from being the one to show up when your coworkers were too weak to make it in. Sick days that coincide with weather events never ring true. Yaz and I had a good run of slamming our missing barista while we did the extra work necessary to cover for her. I don’t even remember the missing girl’s name – she hadn’t been there long and didn’t come back in after that missed shift so she didn’t make it into a long-term spot in my head. 

Yaz and I worked well together and had paired up on our schedules after only a few weeks of working together. I don’t think they needed the job any more than I did which helped. I was at the counter when everything went to hell and have often wondered if things would have been different if I’d been in back hefting bags of beans instead of them. It doesn’t matter. Hell came on slowly anyway and I was the one who should have known better.

The cafe was full of people escaping from the swealtering temps outside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *