Back on November 24th of last year, I posted "Caf-fidelity," in which I blogged about cheating on and eventually leaving my Afghan coffee vendor. I'd been with him for a couple of years and although he knew exactly how I liked my coffee--often throwing in free donut and muffins, which I always pimped off to one of my colleagues--I left him for the Egyptian coffee guy a few blocks up as soon as my morning brew starting to taste not so delicious anymore.
What can I say? Taste sometimes trumps loyalty.
Anyway, my relationship with ECG lacked the profundity of what I had with ACG. I missed ACG's easy charm and his agreeable nature. ECG never appeared to be totally at ease in his cart. I soon realized that he spent so much time preparing each cup of coffee, not because he was paying extraordinary care and attention to the process, as I had once believed. Instead, he was as lethargic as he was because he always seemed to want to be somewhere else.
I needed something more. I needed someone who saw me and appreciated me for the unique coffee drinker that I was.
And, so, I moved on to the worldly and sophisticated Jacqes Torres and it was magnificent. Sure, I didn't get to see him very often and he always had his minion serve me, but that was good enough for the short, intense time we were together. The coffee was so worth it.
Anyway, this past Monday night, while watching another nail-bitingly-edge-of-your-seat episode of 24, I found myself longing for ACG again. Honestly, I could've done without the coffee--JT clearly beats him in the overall superiority of coffee category. But I missed our intimacy, our friendship. He knew exactly how I liked my coffee and, what's more, he truly cared about me.
I would try to make it work, I told myself that night. And the following morning, I almost walked right past his cart when he caught my eye and I couldn't help but stop.
"Large coffee with lots of skim milk and two Equals, please," I ordered meekly, looking up at him with wide eyed anticipation.
His weathered face folded into the lines and creases of a familiar smile. "Equal inside or outside the cup?" he asked.
That's when I realized that he didn't remember me. Had he remembered me, he'd known that I wanted the Equal in my coffee and not on the side. I mean I wasn't expecting him to jump out of his cart and dance for joy upon seeing that I'd returned. But, sheesh, he could've remembered me; we had been together for two years, after all.
I snapped out of my reverie to see that he was still waiting for my answer with the cup in one hand and the blue packets in his other hand. "Inside, please," I told him, deciding there and then that I would make this work again.
When I ordered a small coffee from him this morning, ACG gave me a medium and insisted that I only pay him $.50. We went back and forth for a while before I gave him my four quarters and walked away very quickly, smiling.
I'm glad we're back together.