It's been pouring down rain all day. I don't understand what it is about the rain that makes people want to come into the coffee shop where I work on a day like today. You'd think they would just stay home where it's warm and dry.
Instead, they come to this little place, full of coffee brewers, espresso machines, turning it into a sweaty, humid, crowded place. Dozens of people,lining up around the lobby, dripping wet, laying there hastily-folded umbrellas on my counter, leaving umbrella-water puddles behind for the next guest to place her handbag in. And ick now your suede wallet is all soggy. I'm sorry miss, I didn't realize that was wet...here let me wipe it, and can I get you a napkin? Why am I so sweaty all of a sudden? Ugh.
And that's when I see them, lighting up, one by one. A hot chocolate, a vanilla latte, a small cup of black coffee. Oh, yeah, an oatmeal. Can you please heat up a butter croissant for me? Could you make that extra hot? We don't need a bag, we're staying right here. I look around, wondering where they'll sit. But they find a spot. People don't mind sharing tables today. It's very communal, homey.
Mixed in with my "regulars" is a disproportionate number of traveling folks, passers-through. Just had to get off the freeway, it's been bumper-to-bumper for 90 minutes straight. The kids were going nuts packed into the SUV, had to use the bathroom, starving, caffeine-deprived....All the way to Orange County, can you imagine, in this weather?
Cold and wet. Not sitting at home, with the sudden urge to head out into the rain. Stuck on the road, running errands, headed away for the weekend, in need of a pick-me-up. Home isn't an option right now. So here, in this little coffee shop, they find their warm and dry. When I look at it that way, it's kind of nice.