Feeling confident, I strutted down the avenue towards Starbucks, my craving growing ever more intense. I walked in, and a few heads turned in my direction. I had a quick fantasy where I'm on the red carpet and I'm being interviewed about my spectacular haircut.
Nancy O'Dell: "Christopher, we have to know. Who in the world does your hair? It's...astonishing!"
Me: "Eddie." (walks away)
Nancy O'Dell: (turns to camera, gushing) "And there you have it. The mystery of Christopher's incredible hair has finally been revealed, here on Access Hollywood. This is unbelievable! Back to you in the studio! I need to sit down."
I'd walk through the crowd, smiling and giving autographs before bumping into a woman in a hideous silver jacket. And that would wake me up and I'd realize that I was no longer at the Oscars, but in Starbucks. In Astoria.
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The woman in the silver jacket somehow managed to take up most of the available space in the small narrow part of the store leading to the cashier. I found it rude that she did not budge an inch, since she could easily pivot her flat ass out of the way, having ordered her coffee already.
As I took my place in line, I heard the gravely voice of a Greek chain-smoker. "What is taking so long?" she demanded to know, perhaps running late to have her mustache waxed off.
Apparently, her coffee was taking far too long to prepare. I knew in an instant that this woman was going to be trouble. I could sense her high-and-mighty-super-bitch mentality the way a shark can sense a drop of blood in the ocean from a mile away.
"The coffee's brewing," said the short black girl behind the counter. I made eye contact with the girl and shook my head. I turned and just stared at the woman, growing more frustrated by the second. I placed my order and waited. And watched.
She put her sunglasses on and muttered to herself some more before finally blurting out, "What is taking so long? This is ridiculous!" in her irritating accent. The woman at the jewelry store had temporarily turned all Greek-accented women into evil witches. And I was ready to take them all on.
"The coffees are being poured," said a man behind the counter.
"Oh my God. Where is the manager?" she asked.
Something you should know about me: I have worked in many different retail establishments over the course of 12 years. Department stores, shoe stores, hardware stores, and furniture stores. All of these stores shared, at one point or another, a common thread: self-righteous, asshole customers demanding to speak with a manager over the most insignificant thing. To this day, the phrase, "Can I speak to the manager?" makes my blood pressure skyrocket.
And today would prove to be no different. Knowing full well that "the manager" would not be able to extract the bug up this woman's ass, I snapped.
"You know what? This is how coffee shops work! Sometimes you need to wait for a new pot!" I yelled, surely turning more heads than I'd like.
She stood, silent, muttering to herself, not daring to face me directly as I continued.
"Jesus! That's life. Sometimes you have to fucking wait!" I said, before reaching over the register to grab my grande coffee from the smiling cashier.
I stormed out, forgetting to get milk for my coffee, but realizing that while that woman might never step foot inside that particular Starbucks again, I might be wise to do the same.