There Will Be Coffee Beans — First Draft
I. The Coffee Shop
The coffee shop was warm that morning with commuters on their way to work and the baristas were writing, loitering really, for the next order. Take an order, take the card, swipe the card, and fulfill the order. The single origin coffee had been freshly roasted and the crew was reading and willing to pass it along with the care and a smile. It was said in the Netflix series Stranger Things that the morning is for coffee and contemplation. They would add, as well, that the morning was, also an addition or praise or of complaint.
And it was quality coffee so that the coffee did not distract from the contemplation but added to it. Each time the mind wandered coffee served as a mantra; the monkey mind went back to the trunk. Back to center over and over with each sip. Same each morning the rhythm and the sameness.
Adn this was meant to be a pattern of recognition where the mantra has taste, smell and sip and a turning of the hand to the lip and the tip of the cup to the mouth and the liquid to the lips and a mouthyfeel over the tongue and the inside of the cheeks.
And the customers paid because they were happy to support their local coffee shop and stay there and stay hello and wait for the bus.
And the baristas were too for their nine month stays before they moved on to the next gig due to various factors. To them, as well, the rhythm the order, grinding the beans pouring the water over the beeswax feeder and waiting the minute or so that it dripping was a form of sameness and a return to center.
She had a drag of her American Spirit cigarette. Waiting, it filled her lungs, and she exhaled. And there it was again and again, that hot feeling. And the mouth again with that hot feeling. The stone washed jeans the black jacket and the cigarettes packed back in her shirt pocket as she walked back inside following a customer.
II. The Man
He said to her when she was about to go on her smoke break “hey man.” The barista in the black cap answered. And the man said, “I got a question.”
And the black cap barista answered. “I brought my own heavy whipping cream, you it be alright if I used it instead of your whole milk you guys use.” And the black capped barista said, “whatever blows your hair back, man.” It was an odd request, said without malice or expectation, as was the response. And the man put the heavy whipping cream in the coffee and he smelled. And he said, “this is an aroma I have not smelled before. There is a boldness to the coffee smells contrasted by the demure smoothness of the milk.”
The black cap barista opened his eyes a bit wider as if to say, “I think that is weird but tell me more.”
And the man took a sip. He said, “Yes, I have been waiting for this.” And he took another smell and another sip and he said, “yes, this is what is the what.” “What?” said the black cap barista. “What?” said the man. “Wait, what?” said the black cap barista.
“This is it!” He exclaimed. “What a rock!” “What rocks?” said the barista, relly more as an exclamation than a question. Realizing how he was coming off, the man quickly said he was sorry and just said it with his expression. It’s just a really good creation he said. He had a surprised expression. Then he looked quizically at the black cap barista. By this time the girl had already taken a couple more orders. She noticed the expression on the man’s open, honest face. He left and alighted the 77 bus.
III. The Man Requests
Not knowing what that was all about, they finished their shift and went about their day. And the next day he came back and the same conversation ensued, and he let them have it. And they both took it and it was good.
And on their way home they let the 66 bus go by and took the 77. And then they played Clarence Clearwater Revival on the stereo the next day, “Born on the Bayou. . . Born on the Bayou.” And they asked the man, what was that? And he told them. And he made a request and they agreed. And this is how they would conquer all the land.
IV. A Surprise on Chicago Avenue
And they tried it again. And then again the next day. And it was correct and the they was, this was a perfect combination. It was as if all of their previous stylings were barbaric. And they had been previously sending their customers out to face they way they created their own lives with a comparative slaughter without this technology this presented. With the cream it was a metaphorical machine gun, and without it was bows and arrows.
She was the reformer of the group she was not necessarily willing to go with the flow because of her personality but because she practically understood that there was very little she could do about it and it wasn’t interesting because, hey, she had other more important things. Any way she did not want to be attached to it because that could lead to resentment. But she had this idea that all could lead to perfection. This was counterbalanced by her fear that if she persued perfection all she would find was corruption, imbalance, and being bad. So on the one hand she wanted basic goodness, integrity, and balance out of her job. But she also knew that she was easily susceptible to hypocrisy if was was given power not taht she would instantly become hypercritical if she saw others trying to be good while she was not. This would make her fly off into fits of rage. But she knew she wanted serenity.
Her coworker that day was a fantasist. He fantasized himself an individualist which led to bouts of knowing melancholy with the satisfaction taht he was living according to his ideals as the store ultra man who is separate from his feelings. He believes that if he got is origen correct that he would prove himself to be worthy of admiration even if he was the only one who knew it. His fear was that he would melt into the crowd and have no identity or significance. It was his goal to be uniquely himself as the basis of all desire. But he was unaware that this was also his greatest temptation. That his tacit gift of imagination would only be used in search for “what is authentic self” might be instead of using his imagination, and seeing the imaginary world around him. What may lay beyond the horizon on what the next person’s story might be to tell. Accordingly, he fell victim to envy of a peculiar trend. That some other guy might give less of a fuck than him. Nevertheless this weekness led to or could lead to a tremendous equanimity and emotional balance as the usual envy of other peoples goods was not his temptation and he rarely gave it a thought beyond healthy curiosity.
So a small coffee shop which they found was a perfect place for them to work. Single origin beans from around the world arrive at their little store. Singgle origin beans that had been shipped from Central America or South America or from Africa or Indonesia. It wasn’t that they know everything is pure and free of commercial fraud and all the problems of international trade and labor laws, but they knew the guy that knew the guy who employed the guy that actually picked the bean and this is where the bean had ended up. At their shop, in their roaster. And so if most coffee was stale, the fresh roasted beans were at least reaching the customer in a good state. Perhaps in the top 1% of freshness? For all the problems, and there were many, it was at least an honest living.
So they had the origin down, and the roaster, so they could have lighter roasts which left intact some of the unique flavors of the origin.
And back to the heavy whipping cream. The man, this day, left them a bottle. It was unmarked but it was about 32 ounces and they for some reason decided to hand it with care. And they come to learn that the heaving whipping cream had its own flavor profile, but it also blended perfectly with the coffee, whether it had been a good origin or a bad origin or whather it had been a good roast or a bad roast. It also had the effect of revealing character, not just the flavor character but the character of the person that was drinking it.
And they, themselves, these noble baristas, began to notice the cosmic forces that were operating around them without them previously being aware of it. Such that this was as if the day they had to remind people to make good decisions and not bad decisions and how to make good decisions or at least to intuit them. As if they were going on to go on that day and makes something or destroy something. And he (the male barista) picked up on it first. The creators would end up on the 77 bus, and the destroyers would end up on the 66 bus. And these people were apparently unaware of these forces except in some dim way as they underwent their coffee and contemplation.
And so it was these three the man with the heavy whipping cream, the female barista and the male barista, who suddenly found themselves at the center of a cosmic battle right there on Chicago Avenue. The likelihood of Chicago Avenue as a place of a competing supernatural campaigns was, to them, incomprehensible. They did not know they did not know this. But it is just as likely as anywhere else. The coffee shop itself enjoyed the ease of subsidiarity of the world as it competed on a smaller scale on a smaller street with a smaller amount of foot traffic. It shared its stretch with, for example, three taquerias, a public library, and Loop Tavern. Like a lot of neighborhoods it was developing. An art gallery here, a brewery there, a sushi place, a new apartment building. Just down the street was a bar that served the people of modest economic means (perhaps not for long). It was there that a sense of community could be undeniable. It was like a shelter of sorts could be made for people with nowhere else to go. While simultaneously the owners purveyed poison to their customers and sometimes had trouble even remembering their names. At the coffee shop there was a similar motive, sales. But because of the smallness and the lower rents and lower foot traffic the sales pressures were less.
And the heavy whipping cream itsel was a thing of wonder, a fat, but naturally produced trans-fat. When the cow was in green pastures, the gut flora turns the polyunsaturated fat into conjugated lenoleic acid. It had the power to prevent weight gain. Part of a nutrient dense diet.
And the shop is full of wood tones, yet an abundance of natural light and benches like church pews.
A woman came to the store and it was the first interaction that she had that day. She had dyed blonde hair pulled back and she was about 35 years old. She wore black pants that were a size or two too big for her, a blazer, and a scarf. This morning she decided that day she was going to be more friendly to people. She just happened to run inot some man she had already known at the coffee shop. She was chatty with him and he was nice back to her.
She then saw a good looking well dressed man in the shop. She smiled at him. He was not quite sure how to respond. Then when her coffee was ready (the Uganda) she got the coffee. And the female barista told her that they had the new heavy whipping cream and then asked her if she would like to try it. And she said yes. And she had it. And she felt as if she was satisfied and it filled her with joy and she felt like at that moment that she wanted nothing more from life in general and that was she was willing to give it all away. And then the man she had been earlier admiring walked out and he said hello and waved his and and she said hello back. And that was it. When she left she walked outside and saw a woman doubled over a wheel chair. She helped the woman get into the nearby Walgreens. After that she alighted the 777 bus.
And it was like this for several days and weeks. Some people taking the heavy whipping cream. Some people taking it and getting on the 666 bus. Some people taking it, feeling joy, and then getting on the 777 bus.
And it went on like this for several days and weeks. Some people not taking heavy whipping cream. Some people taking and getting on the 666 bus. Some people taking it, feeling joy, and then getting on the 777 bus.
One morning another man came in. The baristas were not quite sure if they had seen him before. He smiled a little too much and he wore Northface golf shirt which was weird because it was warm out. And he ordered a coffee and had the heavy whipping cream and alighted the 666 bus. This man was simply in love with the idea of being an entrepeneur because it souded good in bars. And his wife did not care. He had already bought her a lease and some inventory for a boutique on Armitage Avenue which had low revenue but was good for a loss and a tax deduction. And that this was his next project was absolutely no surprise. He had found out about coffee from an overseas yoga retreat and he visited a nearby coffee farm. And the thing about the yoga with this dude was that it turned a jerk into an even bigger jerk. He was someone who failed to notice the many scandals that beset high profile teachers of yoga, that is, misguided attempts at “awakening” and “self realization” and “liberation from delusion.”
A yogi was something that amplified his existing ego. Thus he used yoga for greater riches, honor, and pride. Evetually he felt like he was above the law. And so it was that on one of his retreats he went to a nearby coffee farm. He noticed that there was dirt all over the coffee cherries. He had though this was a remarkable thing. So to prove he could do it he would get into his yoga class, do his poses, then he would go home and research coffee shops. This was while he was driving in his Range Rover while he was texting and driving. While he listened to “Blowjob Betty” by Too Short on his speakers in his Range Rover.
And of course he bough the coffee shop which is the subject of this story.
He bought the coffee shop because he thought it was cool and he wanted to sell “roasted coffee.”
And the man with the heavy whipping cream and the female barista and the male barista found out. And at first they did not really understand the implications. And it slowly dawned on them that this man intended to not only sell his own brand of coffee but he also wanted to replace the coffee that they were selling. Coffee that was roasted perfectly and went perfectly with the single origin coffee that they roasted fresh in the shop. And they found out that he had told the manager of the shop that he intended to do. And right out of the “You Will Be Blood” movie he told the manager, “You Will Drink My Coffe!” and the manager refused to drink and quit. The guy tried to take a swing at the manager and he missed.
So now the baristas still wanted to believe that this story was an overexageration. But it quickly became apparent that this guy would do his yoga, listen to songs like “I’d rather fuck you” by Easy-E, and then go make money somehow. And the malevolent forces made him feel a sort of creativity.
Did the baristas want to work there? One by one the baristas pondered it. The female barista smoked behind the shop and thought it over. She needed the job and how bad could it be? That was a genuine question. It was just a business. He was not that bad, and they were just characterizing him that way for fun. Was the previous coffee regime so pure? Finding another job was hard. She took her time to think about it.
The heavy whipping cream was the deciding point. Maybe that was the reason to stay.
She chose to stay. He left.
And so eventually she realized that this heavy whipping cream did not work anymore on the customers. It no longer provided the transcendant experience and there was no rhyme or reason why the people got on the 666 bus or the 777 bus.
And eventually the female barista would not even drink the coffee.
One day the man came in the coffee shop and after being in yoga class. This time he was in his Range Rover and he was listening to Ludacris’ “Fantasy” and that let him to sing it to himself, “I want to lick like lick you from your head to your toes . .” under his breath as he was walking around.
And he got into the shop and the customers had kind of drifted away and he had been frustrated by the sales. But the man with the heavy whipping cream came with his heavy whipping cream and at least it worked on a few of the customers who were still drinking the coffee that was left over from the previous roasts.
One day the heavy whipping cream guy was in the coffee shop. And he could just not believe the fraudulent coffee shop was selling this crap anymore. But he kept it to himself. A week later the coffee shop man had something in store for him.
He got into the store after listing to an Old Dirty Bastard song and decided to pinch the ass of one of the baristas.
And the man with the heavy whipping cream confronted him. Adn the yaga man took the heavy whipping cream and said “I drink your milk shake! I drink your milk shake!” He grabbed the heavy whipping cream from him and drank it. He grabbed a cannister and threw it at him. The man ducked. It hit friendly woman who happened to be there. It hit her in the head and then she fell on the corner of the bench seating and died.
And the man panicked and he ran out of the store .
When he was in prison, before trial, his wife filed for divorce. When he realized he may end up penniless, he also realized that yoga was total bullshit and that it could only amplify what was already there. And then he contemplated it a lot because he had time to think, sometimes.
The man was in the shop and he had an idea. What if you had the coffee shop as a co-op? And the judge who was presiding over the case gave the man the choice as part of his punishment. Whether he wanted to give it to the employees that could form a co-op. He decided that is what he wanted to do. And the employees rejoiced. And they all owned it in common. The heavy whipping cream blended perfectly with the coffee. And the people got on the 666 bus or the 777 bus.
The woman who died was somehow in another transcendant dimension. She was walking and with a show of majesty she was in the corner of the coffee shop where the pedestrians were hanging out and the city traffic was hurtling by. The air was filled with heavenly music and an all encompassing light that moved in waves of luminous color which outshone the brightness of the lighted streets.