Saturday, March 15, 2014

Conversations With Our Customers: Be Grateful

When you're feeling crabby and pissed off because work's a bitch, you don't have enough hours in the day and someone in your sphere has this really annoying habit that makes you grind your teeth... when you just don't get why things aren't nicer for you and why it wasn't you instead of that twat in the news that won the lottery... when you can't wait for the new year to begin because this year has been just about all you can take, be grateful.

A new customer walks into the cafe. I've seen her on the street before but this is the first time she has come inside. She wears big clompy boots and a light summer dress, looks kinda cool from a distance. She walks with a limp. She needs a cane to walk. She is not old. She is, perhaps, in the prime of her life, as they say.

Now that she is closer than just out on the street, I see that she has something terribly wrong with one eye. The lid is sealed over a bulging eyeball. Perhaps it was never an eyelid, more like an area of skin that just never developed into its promised function. I don't know why the eyeball looks so swollen. I don't know. I don't know anything.

She asks for a latte with one sugar. Her mouth, I notice now, sags at one corner, like she's had a stroke. Her voice is strange, uncontrolled. I have no idea why she is the way she is. Was she born without sight in one eye? Was this perhaps the reason she was involved in some accident that has left her with her limp and the need for a walking stick? I don't know. I do know that the problems I have with my eye seem suddenly trivial. And the stress because work has been busy... yeah right, what a fucking bitch that is.

I ask her which size coffee she'd like, and she says in that cracked, slightly spastic voice, "I'm sorry - I'm deaf."

I point at the paper cups. She points. I make her coffee, amazed at the stress levels the milk has been causing me (a thing called Lipolysis... it causes tiny, unsightly bubbles after the steaming process... it's sooooo fucking frustrating). Her money has been dumped with a shaking hand on the counter, and she takes her coffee and makes her way back out into what is really a spectacular, sunny day.

So yeah, if work's getting you down, be grateful.


Bright Precious said...

Shit Lee, I love this. Tenderness and reality check all at the same time.

Lee Bemrose said...

Thanks you, glad you enjoyed, Deb.