I've been under the weather lately. Yesterday I (uncharacteristically) took the day off, refusing to teach or even to write in the hopes that I would feel better today. Well, I'm not much better, but here I sit in my regular office anyway, that office being Starbucks. I did look forward to some nourishment before working: A bagel and coffee. The hot coffee is especially soothing when I do not feel well. (Please don't think you need to E Mail me with recipes of healthier items to consume such as kosher chicken soup or special herb blends of tea. I already made myself a cup of tea this morning and enjoyed it about as much as I always enjoy tea.)
In any event, I sure was looking forward to my coffee and bagel. Usually I go to Starbucks for the atmosphere and to study or write. Generally speaking, it matters very little what I buy or eat or drink. Today was different because of the way I felt, so of course, today I was served by a new barista working their counter. A nice guy to be sure and I know I need to be more patient with freshmen employees. God knows I would hate to have his job and God also knows the mess I would make of the whole thing.
When he added up my order on the cash register several times, scratching his chin, and looking gravely concerned, I expected it. When he put my small coffee into a paper cup with more caution than a policeman on a bomb squad, I said to myself, "The fellow is new. He's being extra careful to do things right. Give the poor chap a break."
But the more accurate barometer of my patience surfaced when he repeated my bagel order back to me. "That was a plain bagel, untoasted without cream cheese, right?"
Of course, what I had ordered was a cheese bagel toasted with cream cheese.
I suppose the next time I encounter a new person, I can try my luck of the draw and just give the order in reverse, but there is little doubt that should I attempt such a maneuver, I will experience that rarity of rarities, a new barista who hears me correctly the first time.
By the way, if instead of sending me those healing recipes you want to just pray for my recovery, that would be greatly appreciated. While we can certainly experience quite a catharsis of the emotional state by making fun writing projects out of stories that try our patience, with my physical health, I fear I will need more than a new blog.
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