A latte and a BLT

My first time at the Java in Capital Center and all the corner booths were taken. The place was full for a Wednesday afternoon. At the booths sat rather unapproachable people.  At the far end next to a counter was a girl reading a book in a silver paper back. She had rectangle glasses that had green frames. Her hair was braided and she was drinking a juice, mango or orange or passion or cocktail – I don’t know how to tell them apart.

Behind her was another booth with a fairly light skinned man probably in his forties. He too has rectangle frames but his are black. He is a bit bulky but fit in a white checked shirt poring over his laptop – a mac – the white page seems dotted with graphs and the likes. He must be an analyst taking a break, enjoying and cup of coffee and the shitty Wi-Fi while at it – he has and ‘do not disturb’ sign hanging on the brim of his eyes and this manages to keep me off. He was bald but had a beard – newest trend I think. His scalp shone reflecting the warm lighting. I swore I could see him think.

The rest of the corner booths were full of chatty types discussing the latest trends, coffee blends and school assignments. I don’t think these were couples they weren’t showing the kind of affection they should at a coffee shop – you know holding hands and staring into love lost eyes in a mood set by the almost non existent music in the background and dimmed lights seeping into the warm brown interior. They just talked and it looked like the mythical friend zone. From the casual shoulder slaps and the “wish more people were like you” sighs and the “No we’re just friends we’re not dating” eyes they’d give anyone that looked at them.

There’s something about a Java that makes you feel at home. Maybe it’s the lighting or the warm conversations around you with the lady that seems to hug everybody that comes in to the dismay of her date. I foundd a seat by the wall and I had full view of the room. I loud see literally all the patrons, waiters, barristers, playing kids, cashier lady and the exits – both of them.  When the kitchen door opened I coulg get a glimpse of the white tiles and stainless steel drawers – I felt like a spy.

The menu was a pleasant read. I’ll go ahead and give a spoiler – the prices were unexpected. I don’t remember the last time I walked into a Java must’ve been ages. Maybe the depth of my pockets grew or their prices went down but I don’t remember being able to afford that many things. That gives contentment, at that moment you feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief and murmur ‘I made it’ you can take a break from the grinding and putting in hours and live a little. The waiter patiently waited on me as I browsed – on my phone then eventually the menu. I settled for the BLT and a single latte. Us single folk got to stick together – sadly they didn’t have any lettuce.  With a green grocer right in the mall you feel like you want to make then go out and get you some lettuce – a head of lettuce – or maybe just the neck. I don’t really care about lettuce but the fact that one of the ingredients of a BLT is lettuce I didn’t want to feel stiffed. Having a BLT is like wearing a seat belt when speeding down the highway in a tuned Subaru. It just makes you feel safe. The real culprits are the bacon.

I fiddled a little bit in my seat and watched as a waitress bring some form of desert that had a brown chocolate top and white layers that glistened and screamed diabetes. The lady I  her sophisticated glasses and shirt dress that bulged under the stress of her folds asked the waitress

“I hope this doesn’t have a lot of sugar.”

The waitress was a bit confused because the damn thing had crystals of sugar garnishing it. It’s what I’d imagine it would be like biting into Brenda Wairimu’s dimples.

“It’s very sweet ma’am.”
“What does that mean?”
“It has a lot of sugar. Should I take it back?”
“Can it come back with less sugar?”
“Can you come back in better shape?” Okay no she didn’t say that she thought it though,  I know I did.
“Can I ask the chef?”
“No its fine I’ll have it.”
“Drink Ma’am?”
“Chocolate chip shake.”

Looking at the lady she needed a good glass of sparkling water and a plate of detox with a side of healthy living.

How many years does it take of going into a coffee house to have absurd requests like the lady that was sitting on my right? She had on a  sleeveless white blouse and black pants and she looked all types of corporate from the galaxy in her hand to the way she said ‘hello’ when it rang. Her laughs were calculated and curt. Having a conversation with her you’d never think you’re too funny she’d laugh the same way at Uncle Bob’s fall as she would at the Queens dry humor. She ordered for an espresso.

“Two doubles make it look like a single, a dash of cream and shavings of chocolate for garnishes. I want skimmed milk, low fat, brought to boil before adding the caffeine. The handle should face the right at an acute angle.

Her order was curt and as soon as she was done she looked down at her phone scrolling with her light manicured fingers that had on some clear polish.

The poor guy seemed to be taking notes for an Econometrics class I almost thought he’d look at me and ask for a protractor. Maybe her espresso would taste better. What does a double that looks like a single look like? Must be sorcery. She didn’t pay attention to other patrons as she went on with her business probably replying emails and blue tucking subaru drivers that couldn’t match up to what I assume were keys to a C200.

All this time a waiter hadn’t yet come to take my replacement order so I was sitting there with a mug of latte and no bitings. When he did come he was jovial but not apologetic. I mean what should he be sorry for I’m only asking him to take my money. I wasn’t in any ‘can I see your manager’ mood, these guys work hard as it is and a little empathy their way goes a long way. I got a ham and cheese and pardoned the lettuce – I don’t like lettuce anyway its too green and crunchy and healthy. The closest I’ll  ever get to enjoying leaves of a plant was back in high school when mogoka was the rave.

I have one thing I don’t understand though, and it’s why my drink came faster than my food. The two were supposed to go hand in hand or is it mouth to mouth? I wanted hot latte and a sandwich not half drunk latte that’s now lukewarm and a sandwich.



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