I got to the cafe at my usual time. About 7:30 am. But this morning something was different.
There was a palpable tension in the air. The line up of cars at the drive-up window was unusually long, and one driver had opened her door, waving her hands and was spewing venom at the car ahead of her.
As I walked in I asked the barista “Why so busy?” and he said those three words that I had been dreading for about two months. Those three words that would make me want to re-evaluate being a regular at this, my favorite Starbucks. This Starbucks, the easiest one to get to from my house. The one I have come to know and to love. The one that I have come to rely upon to soothe my thirst for good coffee, for a nice atmosphere. And most importantly, I have cultivated just the right relationship with the baristas for civil and friendly service .
A home away from home, where I could be out in the world, yet nicely insulated from the madness of that world. And today, that world came tumbling down. But I knew that it was just a matter of time before I once again heard those words….
Just three little words. That’s all it took to ruin a perfectly nice morning. Words that I had shoved into my subconscious. But now those words careened toward my eardrums in a kind of slowed-down, deep, distorted voice you hear in sci-fi movies….
” S C H O O L S T A R T S T O D A Y. “
It didn’t register. That didn’t seem correct. Maybe he was misinformed. So I asked him again, “Why so busy?”
AND THEN THEY CAME…
It was just a matter of time, I figured within a half an hour, that the mob of prepubescents would rush through the doors of an already small space with limited seating. They would pick up on their custom of standing (actually fidgeting) on-line to order caffeinated drinks. Talking using their outside voices, and moving about with anxiety, and misdirected fervor, while eyeing their smartphones to see who if anyone had responded to their instagram.
And as is customary, the loud hoard of adolescents lingered, running about, and taking up precious space, until it was time for them to go off to school.
“I don’t know who I pity more, me or their teachers,” I mused, as I watched the already over stimulated kids caffiene-load.
To add to my consternation there was a group of mothers sitting at a nearby table purging their anxiety after spending an entire summer with their spawn, and didn’t seem shy about expressing their relief with loud hyena laughs.
I took a few deep breaths. My mind went right to working on a solution. I figured I had to time my visits to avoid the morning onslaught as well as the afternoon one. This Starbucks is close to a secondary and high school, and has become a teen-age hangout after school too. A loading zone for more caffeine before heading home.
I felt the tension behind the counter as well, as the staff began to armour themselves. Their vacation time was over too, as patience gets stretched to the limit in the face of dozens of overenthusiastic teens who aren’t concerned that the drink orders can’t be heard over the din. Add to that the aftermath clean-up of messy tables and bathrooms.
And don’t you think that’s going to come around to bite me in the….
You see, I have two missions in life. The first is embodied enlightenment. And the second is to keep my baristas as happy as possible. Not so easy this time of year. I do my part to ingratiate myself…it’s a delicate balance of being just the right amount of friendly, waiving my right to complain for them getting my coffee order wrong, and busing my table before I leave…
(Sigh) I suspect my last moments on this planet will be moi sitting at a little table at this or some other Starbucks clutching a cup of dark roast to my chest….Embodied Enlightenment at its best!
I guess every generation has their hangouts after school. But why does it have to be MY Starbucks? What happened to the good old-fashioned malt shop?
You must think I’m just indulging myself here. It’s a little embarrassing. I need to keep this in proper perspective. In the scheme of things, this is hardly a tragedy. I mean, I’m an ascension pioneer for god’s sake! I’m going through the biggest paradigm shift known to man. I think I can handle a few underage coffee guzzlers!
I will make the necessary adjustments, of course. But I can’t help wondering, this same scenario has happened before, last year and the year before that. Why didn’t I notice it as being so irritating then? It seems I am becoming more and more sensitive to energies, especially in busy places. Or in any kind of crowd.
It’s a little disconcerting.
Decades ago I could fall asleep on the couch in the middle of a rager. And ironically, I considered myself sensitive back then.
So is what they say true? As we ascend, are we going to have to sequester ourselves to our homes and just be seen on rare occasion?
Will we find the company of only nature tolerable?
I for one am not ok with that. I like humanity. I really do. As long as I don’t have to endure a one-sided and long-winded conversation about their own woes. Or deal with their offspring running amok in our sacred coffee shops.
But really, as a kind of background ambiance, in moderation, humans are ok in my book!
Author’s note: I do love the younger generation. They are our future. And most importantly, no adolescents were harmed during the writing of this post.
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