You steal a long breath from the bag of espresso beans and fill the grinder. The rain is pouring, and the grey scene beyond the glass is almost like San Francisco. There is a tornado warning in Los Angeles. The buzz surrounding this is almost as funny to you as the change in color status on the Homeland Security signs in the airport. You wonder, for a moment, if laughing at this sort of thing is like tempting fate and remember your 'new found Atheism': Nothing means anything, life is beautiful and full of contradictions, coincidences and confusions.
My thoughts are my own, my thoughts are my own, no one and no thing can punish me for my thoughts! Hmph.
In your head, a friend laughs at your attempted rebellion. You laugh at yourself and move on to the more stimulating events of the work day, conversation and eavesdropping.
Two young girls approach the counter. Both with shoulders hunched, peering up at you like stylish, little giraffes, one begins to speak, "um", she sweetly whispers, "could I get a small chai?" You want to say, "don't worry honey, I don't bite!" but instead look at her and wonder why anyone would choose to speak in such a soft and frightened voice. Is that supposed to be attractive or just the result of an inferiority complex? You hand her the hot drink and work on her friend's order as they chat about Haiti. "I really wish I could just go there and help, you know?" says 'friend'. You stare at the slowly browning pastry in the oven, the heat warming your cheeks. You wonder, what would it be like to just stop life, pick up and go to a part of the world that needs some help? What is it that is stopping you from doing just that? Greed, fear, selfishness, disconnection? What can you do about this?
What will you do?
You hand 'friend' her croissant. The door opens and a gust of wind and rain blows in as the cars rush by on Hyperion.