Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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I'm A Bad Person

There's a coffee stand in the breezeway of our building. Even though the brew is hardly the best, it does the job. And I patronized the place regularly for years. But now I don't. You see, these days the barista is a sullen, very dirty blonde, dreadlocked woman who hates me. No, that's not something I can verify. I think she hates me. All of the repartee that makes the coffee-purchasing experience attractive to me is absent in our transactions. Some people she half-smiles at. With me, though, she cultivates a I-had-myself-lobotomized-to-avoid-banter look. It's enough to make mediocre coffee taste very bad indeed. What's worse, though, is that my response to her iciness has grown to a disturbing size. Convinced that she goes out of her way to not be friendly with me, I've started focusing on things she does that bother me. Her hair, for instance. In particular, I've become fixated on the fact that she spends her idle time watching soap operas and talk shows on one of those early 80s-style portable black-and-white televisions. In theory, there's something cool about living in another decade. I could interpret her woman-centric viewing as a strategy of resistance, a way of saying, "I could be sitting at home waiting for Prozac to hit the market, but instead I'm out and about selling -- what was that word again? -- lattés to disaffected college students." Sadly, though, the juxtaposition of burned-out hippie appearance and bad daytime television just makes me mad. It reminds me of those "students" who spent all day at Berkeley's Barrington co-op taking bong hits and watching re-runs. Of course, I was in Barrington during the 1980s, so perhaps my annoyance is simply about not wanting to relive a sordid side of my undergraduate experience. And yet, no matter how thoroughly I sort out my feelings, I still remain convinced that A) the barista hates me; B) that I will no longer buy coffee from her stand; and C) that I can't wait for the day when her supervisor figures out that she is responsible for the drop in revenue.
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