Tag Archives: starbucks

The Girl With The Starbucks Tattoo

It was a beacon of hope, always shining green through the long, hard winter, a steaming oasis rising through the endless snow to thaw her small town heart out. Before the store moved into the old downtown square, she hardly even knew that their could be anything more than the cracking, empty streets, a broken fossil of a faded industry. The idea of somehow leaving town, or doing anything but following in her family’s frozen footsteps, seemed as foreign to her as the rest of the country did, some thousand miles away. These were things she’d only seen on — television when the reception was good and they could still get channels, anyway.

When it finally appeared — when that sign went up, signaling its coming — it heralded an out. She believed herself to be the mermaid, that rare, majestic beauty, a literal and lonely creature lost upon the shore, surrounded instead by an ocean of snow, vast and cold, which numbed the lives around her. But she never even knew that she had fins, that she could swim away, not until she saw that sign rising in the distancer. She was 13 years old then, the loneliest of ages, and as soon as she saw it, she started to study, teaching herself the differences, the meaning of a macchiato, americano, cold press versus hot, and as soon as she turned 16, she strolled into the store, filled out an application, and submitted it on the spot. She hardly ever touched the money that she made. Instead, she saved it, every cent, building up a base for her escape.

She put in a transfer request when she was 18, and the day she finished high school, she hitched a ride in her cousin’s 18-wheeler and changed her life, a bright young mermaid escaping to the greater sea: Anchorage.

Her cousin dropped her off downtown, but before she even found a place to sleep that night, she slipped inside the first tattoo parlor on the strip. She’d never actually seen a shop like that before, not in real life, anyway. When she stepped inside, she was greeted by a league of fantastical creatures not unlike herself, exotic breeds who’d wandered from their native tribes and made themselves a brand new home. Endangered species, just like her. And so she wanted a symbol, to brand her scar her skin to show her small-town struggle and begin the transformation, taking that which was within and projecting it without. She thought back to that day when she first saw the sign, before she truly understood what it meant, what it would come to mean, and she rolled up her sleeve and offered up the first sacrifice from her savings account and the man with the oversized earlobes pulled out his magic pen, buzzing with the vitriol of a billion angry bees, and painted that green mermaid on her skin and when he finished she could finally feel her fins begin to grow.

Day 5

The only thing worse than serving coffee to the

“double nonfat sugar-free vanilla latte” crowd

is managing a bunch of loosely trained

stoners posing as baristas.  Customers

are a predictable pain in the ass,

but these kids, these potheads who

come back from their breaks reeking

of burnout, they’re killing me.  I have

inventory to order, new screw-ups

to hire, a budget to balance.  I don’t need

these high-flying jerk-offs calling in “sick”

and fucking up orders at rush hour.  At least

I’m in charge of Halloween morning instead of

Halloween night.  Small miracles, I guess.

 

I always leave work borderline homicidal,

but that passes after I get home and

pop open a can of whatever is strong

and cheap.  By the eighth can,

I feel great about people.

                                             Now, I just

stay pissed off until I get a headache

from clenching my jaw and thinking about

all the stupid people I want to scream at

but can’t.  The last thing I need is to sit

in a moldy community center basement

without a drink, listening to everyone else

and their costume party problems.

A Choice That Probably Includes Ordering The Last Two Yogurt Parfaits

In matching outfits,
Same Starbucks, same time, one choice:
Female OK Corral

How I Died Trying to Rob a Wawa While Wearing A Panda Mask in New Jersey Last Week

I had gone through the plan at least thirty-eight times in my head. Any more than that, and it either would have started to bore me, or else I’d start over analyzing the whole thing and getting nervous like I do every time I try to talk to that girl at the Starbucks on Route 10. I think her name’s Amy (I read it on her nametag. Is that creepy?). No. Thirty-three times. That was the optimal amount of times to run over a scenario before you’ve just got to get it done.

Thirty-three? Thirty-eight. Whatever. I wasn’t actually keeping track. I mean, come on. Who does that? Who keeps track of how many times they actually think about something? That’s why we always use big numbers, like a thousand. Easy, hyperbolic lie. People get the point. I don’t even think I can count to thirty-seven. Thirty-eight? Whatever.

I’ve thought about Amy six hundred and ninety-two times since March.

This makes six hundred and ninety-three.

It was now or never. Casually stroll into Wawa, with the gun and the mask in my pocket. Scope out the scene, make sure no one else is in the store. Idle by the Hot Pockets freezer until the coast is clear. Duck behind the rack in the potato chip aisle, out of sight of the cashier. Slip on the mask. My beautiful, beautiful Panda mask. Pull out the gun, but don’t arm it; you don’t actually want to hurt anyone. Leap out from behind the potato chip rack, rush the cashier, shove the gun in his face, probably held horizontally like in those movies because that just looks a lot cooler, demand in your deepest, meanest panda growl that he give you all the money—because really, who’s going to say no to a panda?—take the money after he gives it to you, run outside, start the car, pull the mask off, peel out of the parking lot, drive back to J & J, buy the biggest diamond ring you can afford with the cash, drive back down Route 10 all the way to the Starbucks in Denville, ask Amy to elope and run away (use of mask and gun only if necessary), live happily ever after, fin.

There were two things I failed to consider:

Well, okay three:

1. The bathroom. I forgot to check the bathroom, or even consider that there might be someone in bathroom. I didn’t know people actually used those bathrooms, except in Clerks.

2. That the person in the bathroom would also have a gun, and that his, unlike mine, would be armed.

3. That said person in said bathroom would be a professional panda poacher and incredibly impulsive. I never realized there was a market for panda pelts either. Who would want to kill something so cute and cuddly?

But before he saw the gun, before he even knew what was happening, he saw the panda mask, and Blam! Headshot. Our professional panda poacher is now the hero of Randolph, New Jersey, I’m a lonely corpse in a panda mask, and Amy’s making a caramel macchiato for someone else, completely unaware of the sacrifice I made for her in the name of love.

God I hate New Jersey.