argument that the coffee and the milk and the Splenda will eventually all be mixed together anyway. It is a valid, yet naïve piece of rhetoric. “I lived in Seattle,” I say. “Oh,” they both say in unison. They’ve heard it rains there, like, “a lot.” They are right, and I hope they never visit. They’re just random Vegas Starbuckers, so they don’t even know real Seattleites consume at their local independent cafes, not Starbucks. This I know. This will be my secret. But, no. I now sit at Starbucks in the guts of Yuppie Ville. I’m the biggest hypocrite I know – drinkin’ coffee in Green Valley. I have my coffee though, and I’m getting jacked up to the gills. There are cell phones everywhere, and because the caffeine is still negotiating its way through my blood, the phones piss me off. Everybody that sits here has their own IPhones, IPods, IPads, fax machines, and a fucking copy machine at their table. They can’t even locate their coffee, ‘cause they didn’t come here for coffee. They came here to be seen by other people who didn’t come here for coffee. It sounds like the damn casino out here. Every place I sit down in this town, somebody sits right next to me and builds a casino. I need to relax. Sip. Sip again. Caffeine. Umm. Sip. A friend – scratch that – a guy-I-know-from-high-school approaches me with his girlfriend. They’ve got their cell phones and IPads strapped to their belts. They are going to get coffee, maybe. He says my name. I don’t remember his. Apparently, he’s a valet at the Bellagio. No higher education. No student loans. He chews gum really hard, pinches it between his teeth and smiles. That’s how he smiles and says it’s good work, six figures. And he doesn’t live at home. He introduces me to the girl. He says she just got her belly button pierced. That’s how he says it, this is Soand-So, she just got her belly button pierced. “Wanna see it?” she asks me. I nod. I do. Sip. I really do. And she shows me. And it’s great. And I love her belly button. “Did it hurt?” I ask. “Yes,” she says. “Good,” I say. He pinches his gum and says how back in high school I was always such a kidder. I sip my coffee. Somebody gets a loud fax. “I’m sorry,” I say. We all say it’s hot, and then So-and-So gets a text; they have to go, no time for Starbucks, and I’m alone with an empty iced coffee. “I’m sorry,” I say again. April 2013 • Bohemia • 41
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