My French press broke last month so every morning, Chooch and I have been walking to various local cafes in order to get my AM fix, and even though it has been consistently in the 90s, yes, I still get a gigantic hot black coffee.
Luckily, I finally got a new French press and by that I mean I got a new French press immediately after my other one broke but it was a different size/style/make/model/whatever and I didn’t feel like reading the instructions to see what the water:scoop ratio was so it just sat there for three weeks while I shuffled through the early morning streets of Brookline every morning to get fix until Henry finally was like “for God’s sake” and showed me how to use my new French press.
Anyway! The point of this post is that some notable things happened during my coffee foraging days.
OK look I say this all the time and I know I need to come up with a new name for my favorite local character and I suppose I could call him Dave which is what his name apparently is, but he’s always shaking his fist and screaming obscenities at garbage and I saw the movie “Niagara Niagara” so I clearly am a certified expert on the subject.
Anyway. Chooch and I had two (2) encounters with this vocal fella during Dire Coffee Days. The first incident was when we were waiting to cross West Liberty Avenue at the same time as him, and when the walk sign came on, some asshole in a work van nearly killed us by not recognizing the fact that he was prohibited from turning right on red, and he had to slam on the breaks when he was already halfway over the crosswalk! Tourettes (OK fine, let’s call him Brookline’s Best from now on) hollered, “WHAT THE HELL!?” and Chooch and I were like, “YES WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE FOR ONCE.” It really felt like we had experienced something special and deep with him, you know? Even though he never acknowledged the fact that we were standing there too.
Then!! That same week, Chooch and I were on the same route, because we were on a donut-kick* for a week where we found comfort and a simple pleasure in treating ourselves to a donut at Potomac Bakery and then skipping across the street to Muddy Cup for our morning refreshment.
*(See also: the kitchen was still kind of a mess to be in and we used any excuse we could get to grab food that didn’t need prepared at home.)
As we were approaching the bakery, I noticed that BB was peering into the front window. Then he started mouthing off about something, fished around in his pocket, and crossed the street:
“Maybe he doesn’t have any money,” I said and the briefly had a vision of me buying him a bag of pastries and him either being very happy or calling each breakfast bun a motherfucker while punting them into traffic. But it turns out, he was digging for his mask, which he found and then put on, only to come back across the street to the bakery. However, we made it there before him and there is a sign saying that only 3 people can be in there at one because it’s so small and, you know, social distancing is still a thing. There was already someone inside so I worried that he was going to be angry that Chooch and I beat him there, but it turns out occupancy issues are not his concern because he just flung the door open and strode right on in, but to his credit he did hunker back in a corner while the rest of us were being waited on.
Chooch and I got our donuts and as we were walking out, BB was being waited on.
“I’LL TAKE THAT CHERRY ONE. YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. THE CHERRY. AND THAT APRICOT ONE THERE TOO. YEAH YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH!! YEAH! THE CHERRY AND THAT APRICOT ONE. YEAH!”
It was so exciting! As we stood outside of Muddy Cup, waiting our turn to enter, we watched BB continue his jaunt up Potomac. I wondered out loud where he was going and then remembered that I would occasionally see him on the trolley in the mornings back when “going to work” required leaving the house, and he got off at the same trolley stop downtown as me. I wonder what he does down there?!
2. MASK SHAME
One day last week, Chooch decided to make breakfast for us so I walked to Muddy Cup without him to procure our AM beverages. My favorite barista was working and I told her that Chooch was at home making breakfast and that’s why I was acting all tense but she probably thought to herself, “No, you’re acting the same as usual, weird and strung out with paranoia like you just lit up a church” but she just smiled and commented that Chooch and I seem to have a really great relationship and then I did that thing that I do where I get all self-deprecating to the point where now I’ve just painted myself as an abusive parent, so that’s how coffee-procuring went.
When I left Muddy Cup, I had a drink in both hands so I just left my mask on, because god only knows how many clusters of people I might have to pass on the sidewalk and now it wouldn’t be as easy to get the mask back on without stopping somewhere to set down the drinks, and ugh do you see how difficult my life is?
So, I’m walking home and thinking about how it’s a good thing that I opted to keep the mask on because I did in fact pass quite a few people, and not all of them were masked, and look I know there are articles out there that are like YOU DON’T NEED TO NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE WALKING ETC but isn’t it better to mask than not mask, as a general rule of thumb? I know I for sure don’t ever give someone a side-eye for wearing a mask while walking with no one around. In fact, good for them. THAT’S HOW YOU NORMALIZE MASKS!
I made it all the way to my block without incident, actually that’s not true, some asshole in a contracting company truck nearly ran me over when he failed to stop at the stop sign as I was crossing the street and the amount of times this happens is actually disgusting, and usually the person driving gets all indignant and throws their hands up at me like it would have been my fault if they ran me over and ruined their precious day. Usually this would happen on my walk to the trolley for work, because people are in such a hurry to blow through that stop sign and then….sit in traffic.
But this guy was overly apologetic, which actually felt worse, because he was so over-the-top with his contrition that I feared he was going to pull over and want to talk it out or something. I was just like, *nervous muffled mask laugh* hoping that he would go away, but then after he let me (so gracious and cavalier!) cross the street, he made his dumb right hand turn onto my street and JOVIALLY YELLED OUT OF THE PASSENGER SIDE WINDOW about being “Sorry, again!” and then he made a joke that I didn’t hear so I just laughed along anyway and prayed that he would just drive off into the ether.
HE WAS ONLY BEING NICE BECAUSE HIS EMPLOYER’S NAME WAS ON THE TRUCK AND HE DIDN’T WANT ME TO CALL AND COMPLAIN, I AM PRETTY FUCKING SURE.
But whatever, I’ll take his overzealous niceness over what happened next.
I was THREE HOUSES AWAY from my own house when I approached a man who was, it appeared, cleaning out his dad’s house. I think the guy who lives next to Chooch’s nemesis Larry either died or was moved into a home because the son was bringing out all kinds of wheelchairs (too modern, not for collecting) and other medical equipment whenever I passed earlier on my way to get the coffee. Now he was standing near the sidewalk talking to some men who presumably had come to pick up some of this stuff, because they were wearing matching neon yellow t-shirts and drove a pick-up, unless they’re just in a neon gang or something, that could be.
One of the guys was all, “OH SORRY” and moved out of my way even though he wasn’t actually in my way but I appreciated his noonchi (that’s Korean for SELF-AWARENESS/TACT). However, the supposed son of the home owner sneered at me, “There’s more than 6 feet, I think you’re fine.”
I didn’t understand what he meant at first so I just nodded and kept walking, but then I realized, what a bitch ass motherfucker, he was shaming me for wearing a mask. And then, to the mask-wearing woman who was directly behind me walking her dog, he said, “Oh what, no mask for your dog too?”
I was so pissed after I walked into my house and just kept replaying that dumb slob’s stupid ass remark over and over, but then I was momentarily distracted because Chooch was done making breakfast and I was starving but also wanted to make sure that he didn’t damage anything in the kitchen hahaha like I would even know, so I forgot about it for a bit but then later on when I ranted about it online, my friend Shawn was like, “and then did you pull down your mask and cough on their baby?” NO BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE A BABY BUT I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK. You know how sometimes shit like this happens and it doesn’t fully register in the heat of the moment until you’re removed from the situation? That’s how this was.
It’s been a week and I’m still angry about it. Why are we still being bitch-babies over masks? Just fucking wear one so the rest of us can not die/stop having video meetings/send our kids back to real life school/go on our postponed vacations/ride a fucking roller coaster/etc. I don’t even care if these pieces of shit wear MAGA masks because at least it means THEY’RE WEARING ONE.
Anyway, those are the most exciting experiences that I had while having to leave the house every morning to get coffee and the whole time I was writing this all I could think was “hoo boy I can’t wait to finish this so I can go and make coffee using my new French press” and you know what? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM GOING TO DO RIGHT NOW. Have a blessed (???) night.