Friday, November 04, 2005

November 3rd, 2005 Upload 2 Chapter 5 Part 1 (8,990 words out of 50,000)

When I first started drinking coffee I thought it was a vile drink – the kind of thing you drink if you want your teeth to stain and your breath to stink. Someone puts a pot on the office kitchen and everyone lines up to drink a beverage that by law has to be something like ninety-percent coffee bean. The other ten-percent can be bugs, twigs, fiberglass or body parts. Eventually I realized that people just drank bad coffee. That’s because they scoff at price, no-one wants to pay more than fifteen-bucks for five-pounds of coffee. Do you know how many glasses of coffee you get out of five-pounds? Its fucking nuts, you’re paying something like ten cents a cup of coffee. What the fuck beverage do we only pay ten-cents a cup for? You can get five pounds of some of the finest Jamaican coffee for a hundred-and-fifty bucks – you tell people that and they freak the fuck out. I’m paying like a dollar a cup, less than they pay at their local diner, and it’s the best shit in the world. So, coffee became sort of a passion for me, mainly because people are fucking stupid about it.

And it was fine; I had no problem with their stupidity. They can have their Dunkin’ Donuts and their seven-eleven and it doesn’t mean shit to me, I have my own little coffee machine in my office and every morning I have a cup of coffee that makes my nipple harder than diamond cutters it’s so good. And we were all good with that. They were over there, I was over here and we both enjoyed our coffee and you never even pretended to be in my world.

And then there’s Starbucks.

Now people are paying three or four bucks for a cup of Kenyan and pretending that they’re coffee connoisseurs. Taking some cheap Kona knock-off and adding white chocolate flavoring and ice and calling themselves “civilized” coffee drinkers. And they sit at these big puffy chairs and listen to Ella Fucking Fitzgerald over the speakers and stare at their laptops – at their fucking novels that they’re trying to write in an attempt to escape from their nine-to-five piece-of-shit job – trying to feel like they’re part of this “coffee culture” of fake-o artists and hipster posers. And still, despite their love for coffee, despite the fact that they’re inflating the price of Starbuck’s coffee to about three-hundred bucks for a five-pound bag every time they buy a cup of watered-down shit, they still make this exasperated sound of disbelief when I tell them I often pay up to two-hundred bucks for a bag of fucking Jamaican or Egyptian. Believe me, I have no fucking love for Starbucks, and standing in front of this one right now is fucking killing me.

But Agatha is a fucking barista at this one. This chick has some serious issues.

Cynthia didn’t think she did, I fucking asked her. When she told me Agatha worked at a goddamn Starbucks my first thought was that she was divorced with kids or maybe she just got knocked up as a teenager or something. Cynthia thought I was joking around, I didn’t want to push it – I like Cynthia’s parties and like the idea of being invited to future ones. Starbucks is so goddamn entrenched in our society that for some fucking reason there is nothing wrong with adult non-minorities working there. How is Starbucks any fucking different than McDonalds? They got fucking tip-cups at the counter for Christ’s sake. A fucking tip-cup for somebody who puts coffee in a cup and hands it to you. Doesn’t walk to your table, doesn’t keep your water glass full. This person stands in one spot and pours liquid out of a large cup into a small one. And there’s a tip-cup. She’s a fucking glorified smoothie-maker and we never tip those acne-covered teenage fucks.

“Welcome to Starbucks, whatta’ll ya have?”

They don’t even let you walk past the register without pouncing on you and trying to shove a venti crap on ice down your fucking throat. “I’m just going to – actually, I’ll have one of those gingerbread lattes.”

She’s kind of cute for a register jockey and she can’t hide those cuts on her arms – that shit is like a Christmas gift for a dude like me. “What size would you like, sir?”

“Large”

“Venti?”

“Wouldn’t that be an extra-large?”

“Grande, then?”

“However you like it.” She covers her scars and smiles coy – I know how she likes it and she knows I know.

“Venti it is, then. Agatha! Venti gingerbread latte for this gentleman!”

The cutter gives me one last smile and bites her bottom lip just enough to leave an impression behind. She’s the kind of bitch that wants you to slice up her tits while you choke her with her stockings; I’d never believe they existed either if I haven’t encountered so many of them. Chicks like that love to show it off but hate to get caught, they want you to shove their head in a public toilet while you fuck them in the ass but to be discrete about it.

At least one-hundred-and-fifty-million people in this country are like that, relative to you – remember that.

Agatha looks up a “this gentleman” and quickly looks away – she hopes I don’t recognize her. Probably doesn’t want me to know she works at a fucking Starbucks – she’d have some nerve blowing me off at the party with a job like this.

“I never pictured you to be a Gingerbread latte drinker.” This bitch actually acknowledged me? I’m starting to like her – she’s fucking nuts, unpredictable to a point. I knew the gingerbread would get her, though, she pictured someone like me to be triple espresso (or what passes for espresso in this fucking place). I got your number, Agatha.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year – I never got your name the other night, Agatha.” A little smile, subtle but there – she knows we’re playing, she knows how we do this – she gets it all the time.

“You don’t get brownie points for paying attention to my register girl.”

”Cynthia actually told it to me.” Stopped that bitch dead in her fucking tracks. That dumb stare as she’s processing what I just said, what I meant by it. If I give her time she’ll jokingly accuse me of stalking and all the possible responses on my end are clichéd and out of play. “I was a little hurt you blew me off the other night.”

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