Sunday, October 19, 2014


I enter the cafe, walk through to the back and hang my bag on the rack and immediately hear the front door being knocked on. It squeaks open. A customer already wanting a coffee, fuck it. I don't agree to make coffees until I am at least 95% set up because it can just put you on the back foot very quickly. You spend time making coffee when you should be setting up, you will get another customer who also wants an early coffee and it's just a bad way to start the day. Which is why I leave the lights off and keep the door shut until I'm ready to start.

But I forgot to close the door. And there's this guy in a hoodie already inside the darkened cafe.

"We're not open yet," I tell him as I walk towards him.

He's hanging onto the open door, because if he lets go, I realise, he'll fall over. He's a smackie so high he's almost falling asleep on his feet.

"Okay - get out," I tell him, waving him out. Just then The Dreaded One arrives after parking the car. She sees the guy and stops, wondering what the hell is going on.

Then the guy says something. Says the same thing again. I notice that he's clutching some money in one fist and some empty tupperware containers in the other. He says that thing again. It's a question, and suddenly I wonder if he's not a smackie but someone with physical disorders in need of help.

"Sorry - what are you saying?"

He says that thing again, and now I understand.

"Any job vacancies?"

He is totally a smackie, totally whacked, and he's asking me to give him a job. It's funny and tragic. I tell him no, there are no job vacancies as I guide him out. The Dreaded One comes inside and I lock the door. I watch our whacked out friend make his teetering way up the road and into the day. There's a part of me - the into-the-abyss part of me - that envies him for his blissed out, fucked up state of mind.

But mostly I feel grateful that I am mostly okay, and that I have a little cafe to set up and a day of work ahead of me.

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