Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crutch Woman? Word Woman? Enthusiasm Woman?

Today in the cafe... A customer entered carrying crutches, her broken leg heavily bandaged. "I've been in rehab but I've had enough," she announced to the near empty, early morning cafe. "I had enough of rehab and nurses and the awful hospital food and the vile coffee, so I've escaped. They said I can't go because I'm a public liability, but to hell with them. I'm here and I'd love to have The Dreaded One's Breakfast and do you think you could make me a really nice cup of coffee? Thaaaanks, darlin'.
I nodded, wide-eyed and stunned, because she didn't stop talking. Where was it all coming from? Who was it aimed at? She got a couple of customers who were bemused or amused or just intrigued. One guy looked to be all three of these as he shared some time with her. The look on his face was priceless. He told her a story of his own injury and unbelievably, she stopped talking and listened. When he finished, she nodded and was off again, but she had really listened.
When I delivered her coffee she OMGéd several times very loudly because she was enjoying THE BEST COFFEE EVER! When her breakfast arrived (poached eggs with holandaise, wilted spinnach and mushrooms) I thought she was going to fall off her chair with the outrageous pleasure of it.
"Seriously... SERIOUSLY this is the best breakfast I have had in my ENTIRE life!"
She kept talking and talking and talking. I think she said more in that hour than I say on average in an entire month.
When she paid, she was so grateful. Everything was so beautiful. She took a business card to tell all her friends and she was going to come back and bother us again because she loves the place so much. She spotted my card with the link to my short story collection. She asked if I was the author. I nodded, rendered, as I was, practically speechless. It was her turn to be wide-eyed.
"Reeeeeally," she said in awe. "You're so clever. So talented and clever. I can't wait to read the stories. I can't wait to come back to this absolutely beautiful little cafe. It's been a real pleasure meeting you. You have a beautiful day. Have a really, really beautiful day."
Hands-down, my favourite customer of the day.

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