Crying over spilled coffee
Instead of wondering where the hell she is, I decide to order something to drink before sitting down. What to get? With the proliferation of grinds, flavours, and toppings, the choices are endless and somewhat irritating. What is the point of having so many variations of the same thing when they can't even get the basics right? There should just be one kind of coffee that suits the palate of every discernable customer. Then again, where would that leave Juan Valdez?
But, I digress.
Scanning the names on the large chalkboard, I choose a regular-size noisette. Why they call it noisette and not hazelnut is beside me. Spelling something in a foreign language doesn't make it taste any different. I seriously doubt the French name their coffee using English words. Can you imagine? I think I hear them laughing across the ocean at this very moment.
Apparently, the dishwasher must be broken since my selection is poured into a styrofoam cup - I prefer a mug since the taste of refined petroleum just doesn't do it for me. I pay and look for the table with the sugar and milk.
After flavouring my coffee with a dash of 18% cream (don't look at me like that) and about three tablespoons of sugar (ok, now you can look at me like that), I turn around and search for a suitable place near the window to sit down.
Taking the thought of spillage as a precaution, I move slowly. Slowly. Every step and every turn is deliberate. My movements resemble the scene in Chariots of Fire, where the runners in white are doing their slo-mo montage on the beach, with the Vangelis score in the background.
Right before I get to the table, I remove my mitchel (mini-satchel) and throw it on the bench. Wrong move. My arm jiggles and a few drops of coffee drip down the side of the cup. And, it's hot. Very, very hot.
"Aaahhh. Hot. Haaawww-ttt..." I mouth the words, minding the sensibilities and sensitivities of the other customers.
As I plop the cup on the table, it spills. The fires of hell burn my hand.
"Fuuuuuhhhhhh-kkk!" This time I don't mouth the words. And, they are loud.
"Fuck. Fucking hot coffee. Fuck. Fuck." I glance sideways and this little old lady is looking at me. I want to ask her, What the fuck are you looking at, grandma? but don't. She's already heard enough from the aspiring sailor.
A tear forms in my eye from the pain. It too burns. Fucking tear.
I grab some napkins and wipe away the mess on the table, on the cup and on my hand. My inside crease of my right hand is red and burns. Why does it always have to happen to the most sensitive of areas? Why do the most stupid of things have to happen to me? Why? After the profanity and the thoughts of suing this establishment dissipate, I settle down on the bench and wait for my friend.
She arrives. Exactly twenty-five minutes late.
"Been waiting long?" she asks.
"No," I lie and smile. What I really want to do is yell out, What the fuck do you think?
"Did you already get something to drink?" She removes her bag from her shoulder, digs inside and pulls out her wallet.
I point to the steaming cup of coffee on the table and the pile of dirty napkins beside it.
She turns around and goes to the counter to place her order.
Whatever she's having, I hope it's hot and I hope it spills... just a little bit.