Yesterday afternoon, I scuttled dutifully across 8th avenue to buy my afternoon fix at one of the dozen of Starbucks in my area.
Tossed my cigarette, pulled open the door, and found the place unusually deserted. This was likely because I was running slightly late, my addictions are normally clockwork, yesterday I was held up by one meeting or another. I stepped behind some elderly lady who was talking with the girl behind the counter.
From the behind the counter and over the pastry case an employee yelled, "What can I get for you today, sir!" My early morning buzz was still running strong and I'd had a light lunch so my stomach was feeling a bit tainted so "Just a small coffee, thanks!" instead of the regular medium (I refuse to revert to coffeespeak with its bizarrely inaccurate talls and grandes).
The elderly woman in front of me was buying coffee by the bag and was being well helped in the matter. (One of the reasons I frequent this particular branch is that the service is always pleasant). She got her bag and was offered the customary free coffee to go. "Is he having a coffee?" she asked, indicating me. "Yes" say the girls behind the counter. "Then give it to him." Without so much as a glimpse at me this woman was nice enough to offer her free drink to me. Granted, she wasn't paying for it, but given the money/caffeine grubbing state of this world/city. I was struck. "Thank you so much, that's very kind of you, have a nice day." Without a goony grimace or a stern look in the eye, she simply said "you too."
Now, the day before I was expounding for about fifteen minutes on how coffee IS the greatest thing in the world. The more I spoke the more convinced I became you can get it almost everywhere, enjoy it at anytime and it's ever more reliable than anything else in my own personal sphere of the universe, so YES I am biased. However, I know that some of you would agree with me, and would therefore have shared the sense of little elation for kindness and caffeine that I had as a floated back across 8th avenue.