One hour at One Cup

When I walked in, the smell of exotic, roasted coffee beans and scrambled eggs met me at the door. The quaint space was a mixture of organic and modern styles, and the art deco paintings hung above antique furniture.

> I set my things down on a table that was essentially made up of a shellacked tree stump placed on a metal table frame. I sat down for a second to set my things up. That is when I noticed the chair I was sitting in was much lower than the table. I was transported back to the days when I used to sink into booths at restaurants. It used to make me so frustrated when my parents forgot to get me a booster seat and I sat at eye level with the table.

I ordered a cup of hot chocolate

The service was slow, but maybe that is because the woman with the linen pants and khaki jacket seemed to know the barrista He asked her what was new, and she divulged every detail of her life right there at the marble ordering counter.

> “Well you know,” she said. “Lilly turned one. She is like a really little person now, and our farmer’s market started up again, but no one really has much to sell. “ The mundane details kept going, and I could tell the Barrister was about as interested as I was.

> This is a coffee shop where everyone seems like they know each other.

> As a young woman with a red and grey plaid shirt finished ordering, she made small talk with the barrista about the Bob Marley record that played softly on a record player across the room. A young man she had promised to call earlier in the week about starting a band walked in. She jumped on the opportunity to apologize.

.

He played cool and reminded her to relax. He said he had been out of the country anyway. She seemed upset by the fact she hadn’t remembered that small detail.

> “Where did you go?” the barrister interrupted the awkward pause between the young man and young woman. “Spain, and the northern coast of Africa,” he replied. The young woman with the plaid shirt excused herself because she had to go to work. He took a seat on the peach couches by the record player and pulled out his silver Mac as he waited for his coffee to be made.

> A few minutes later, “Mocha,” the barrista called out. The young man on the coach rose steadily, put his blue coat next to his computer and slowly inched his way to the countertop.

An older man walked in. He recognized the woman in the back with the overalls. He ordered an Americano and an everything bagel and then asked the women with the overalls how she was. He also asked her for a section of the “Daily Downer.” It was a copy of the Register Guard.

> With no one at the counter, the barrista who wore a brown fedora and had a full black beard, had a chance to catch up on a pile of stacked dishes in the back.

> A white bearded man and a long haired woman who had been at the coffee house the entire time could be heard intermittently talking about real estate. They had a stack of papers and were muddling through them. They made a yes pile for houses they liked on paper and a no pile for houses that didn’t pique their interest.

> Three men in blue jackets walked in. I could tell that they were not from the neighborhood. Their normal clothing and standard hair cuts made them look odd against the alternative background.They were an odd pair. Two of the men were young with blue fleece jackets, blue jeans and black skater shoes. The middle man was much older. His grey come-over matched the grey tone in his jacket. He wore khakis and dark brown Merles.

> “What can I get you?,” the barrista asked.

> “We’ve never been here,” one of them said.

> The three of them ordered hot chocolates.

> While they waited, they discussed how the building used to be a bicycle shop.

> I looked around the room and made eye contact with the traveling man on the peach coach. His eyes were deep blue.

> The new customers asked dozens of questions about making coffee. They asked about how to make espresso, why little cups are used. I could tell the barrister found the group entertaining. That was until a line began to form.

> A man in a tweed coat and hat came into the store. He was accompanied by a younger woman with pigtails. She wore a red, skull bandana, plaid tie, black, leather boots, a long black coat and several lip piercings. She dug through his coat pocket. She seemed irritated. She let out curse words casually. He appeared to be a 1940’s gentlemen.

> Suddenly the older man with the younger men let out a scream. One of the men in a blue jacket escorted him to a table. They told the yelping man that he needed to calm down or they were going to have to leave. It only seemed to phase me. Everyone else sat un-phased. As the older man turned around I could see a smile on his face. The smile seemed to be stuck. His teeth were rotting.

> All at once, the coffee shop began to empty. The barrista took a phone call. It seemed to be from a coffee distributor.

I finished my hot chocolate, and as I returned my plate to the bus tray, I saw my bus rolling down the street.

About Lauren Fox

I am a writer, a runner and a life observer. I love and value all people and have fallen in love with real journalism, the kind that influences people to think differently about the world they live in and the people they think they know. I used to believe I was meant to be a teacher, but I have learned that a good journalist is a teacher; They teach humanity and their classroom is the world.
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