I went to a Starbucks around 1 p.m. . The door was partially blocked by a young man with a soft belly hanging over his belt and a cell phone glued to his ear. He did not move, or acknowledge me. I could squeeze by, or I could say, “excuse me,” or I could stand there and listen to his conversation. But he spoke in one of those foreign languages were the words are spit out in a rapid-fire monotone. I pass.
I leave by the same door with a grande. He’s still there, same M.O. . I walk a few feet to the street crossing. This is one of the busiest intersections in the Bay Area. Run, don’t walk when it’s your turn. I trot when it’s time —out of the corner of my eye I can see a car ready to run me over. I can feel the driver’s grip on the steering wheel. I imagine him muttering, “Move it, asshole.”
Once on the sidewalk I am approached by a couple who don’t make eye contact with me. One person says, “there was nothing on TV last night.” I can’t hear the response.
As I near the glass door entrance to the office building where I work, I see on the other side of the glass, a young woman in janitorial clothes pushing a large trash can towards me. I open the door for her and she smiles.
Inside the elevator my allergies catch up with me and I sneeze—coffee erupts from my cup. An hour later I notice the stains just above my left and right knees. I toast the day and take the last gulp.