This morning while grabbing my coffee, I was reminded of a time in my life where I had “people”. That is how I used to categorize folks who were my friends because of a bond that formed through a business relationship.
My Hair Guy.
My Barista. Back in the dark ages of coffee when I drank SBUX.
My Nordie’s Guy.
My Trainer Guy.
My Car Guy. For buying.
My Car Guy. The grease monkey one.
Obviously, it was hard for me to find common ground for a friendship with my grease monkey guy. But, me being so awesomely me…I managed. My Car Guy was a mechanic who worked across the street from the first gay bar I ever went into, The Silver Fox in beautiful downtown Long Beach California.
OK, not downtown.
Man, while you’re picking your jaws up off the floor over the irony that my best friend’s blog name is also the name of the first gay bar that I went into, I’ll amuse myself with now much the exterior of this joint has changed. It’s deco palace exterior is quite different from the vanilla So-Cal stucco basic-ness from when I was a boy. And those windows? They used to run across the front on both sides versus the little peek-a-boo business that’s going on now. It’s a good thing, because even at…21 – yeah, that’s it – your dear Xtopher had a dark side, and walking in past those windows I remember thinking that they were ideal for a drive by hate crime. It was Long Beach in the early 90s.
Yeah, I never sat by the windows.
So, anyway, I bonded with My Car Guy over comments of his like, “Why don’t you have a drink across the street instead of hanging out here for an hour?”
That hour was always better spent in the care of the lascivious Mr. John Barnes and his free pours.
Ok. Had enough time to recover?
So, I caught myself leaving Nossa Familia this morning after a prolonged chat with one of their awesome baristas, thinking, “Man, my coffee people are the best” and remembered my old habit of referring to service industry folk as my own belongings. Why? She told me this great story.
I hadn’t seen her in particular there for quite some time. Since going back to work full-time, I’ve only managed to get into the shop twice a week, at best. I go to work at 5:00 and they don’t open until…later. I’m actually not sure what time they actually open. I do know that they’re just a bunch of layabouts since they aren’t at work when I need them.
Nossa Familia is more of a roastery than a coffee shop. Their Pearl – and I think only? ok, only one that I care about – location is where they roast and package their beans for retail distribution. They also have this cute little walk up coffee counter. It’s located behind the flimsiest of doors, that happens to be a wall panel with a single door cut into it. That panel is covering a roll up garage door and hangs on a track and can be slid to the side during the summer months. The whole space is about 144 square feet. Annoyingly, they also have coffee classes on Saturdays, which is the only day that I know I can always make it there. Sometimes I am – and by “sometimes” I mean every damned Saturday, regardless of what time I go – lucky enough to be walking in to order my coffee to a room of home brewers waiting to be taken back into the roasting room for their class.
“People take up a lot of space” ~ Hitler
Like I said, this morning I got to see my favorite of their crew. A cute little blonde woman whose sass reminds me of one of my old assistant managers. She was also a shorty. And, as it turns out, they both have girlfriends. I learned that about My Barista just this morning during her story.
And all I did was ask how she survived our recent Snowpocalypse.
Ready? Here goes…
The Snowpocalypse coincided with her day off, starting the day before her scheduled day off and extending it to a full “weekend” due to its overnight shenanigans pretty much shutting down the town on Friday. She casually mentions that her and her girlfriend had gone to see Magical Beasts Thursday before the snow and freezing rain began – at which point she ignored the question her new co-worker (I had never seen her before) asked about how the movie was – when they came out and saw that the snow had finally decided to make a showing, they went and got a bunch of comfort food fixings and went home to wait it out.
Pretty basic couple stuff.
I was pretty jealous.
Especially after the evening of IMing and drinking I had had the night before with an old friend of mine. It resulted in my waking up wondering if I should hold him to the commitment we had to get together when we weren’t drinking.
It also resulted in a tasty new screen saver for my phone. <wink>
But this is hardly the time for a sidebar.
She talks about how frustrating it is to drive in the snow and ice anyway and how her car’s door lock had gotten frozen over the last time we had ice and she broke it trying to stab through that ice with her key. I interjected that she was super-polite to make it easier for people to break into – very Portland – and reminded her that if people wanted to break in, they were going to get in. A broken lock just minimizes the damage.
She goes on to tell me “Wait, wait…it gets better!” and described being awoken by a car alarm in the middle of the night during the ice, her girlfriend sleepily asking, “Is that our car?” Upon deciding that it was their car’s alarm, they open the windows to see a guy cautiously running off. The weird part, she says, is that the dude only stole the most random stuff. She’s cataloging the personal items of hers that were in the car and not stolen:
Her golf clubs.
How did I not know this woman was a lesbian, I’m thinking to myself.
Her parking change.
The guy just stole a bunch of papers. The car was a little neater-looking, to hear her tell it. Also very Portland, tidying-up thieves.
“Weird…” she says.
Punctuating the end of her story by turning her head slightly toward her now butt-hurt-looking new co-worker, but cutting her eyes all the way, and saying, “It was really good, you should go see it” in a perfect deadpan.
Told you she was sassy.
Me, I’m chuckling at the passive-aggressive smack down she gave her interrupting co-worker while mentally picturing her thief running off in a snow and ice storm with a set of golf clubs and a trumpet.
I’m hoping you all know that doula thing was a joke.