By the Letter
I hope this letter finds you well. I say this because it’s been a couple of weeks and things seem to be spreading around here. As you mentioned, there is in fact a bug going around; not many people have changed their daily routines but it’s made the news so, you know that means it’s serious.
My lackey tasks have been reduced to merely keeping things running smoothly in the office, coffee breaks and lunch orders to be taken strictly within the building. Not much for a contingency plan but at least my company is pretending to be doing something. A few friends and family members have caught “the thing” and so far they’re doing well. I don’t think it’s necessarily related, it could all be a big coincidence, especially when no one knows what’s happening or why. At least it’s not going global, but take care anyways.
So I decided to start working out. One train of thought led to another, and my mother always complains about my sedentary lifestyle (if only she knew of my running about town just because someone needed a new pack of batteries) so I have been running. Better to start being healthy now than later, you know, when you’re dead.
On to a lighter subject matter, I was wondering the other day: do baristas go to other coffee shops? If so, are you aware that you’re in a long line of employees serving coffee to other coffee-serving employees? Does walking into a coffee establishment bring back bitter memories or a wishful remembrance of those hard, toiling days where you contributed to society? I’m a little curious.
I do feel, at times, that my work isn’t important, but that just makes me feel even more depressed so I don’t think your advice would work for me. Not that it absolutely has to matter in a life-changing, productive way, but I think of it more as one more gear in the machinery: it also matters, no matter how small it is. I have to think I’m not entirely replaceable or else I’ll slip into a very dark place. I just don’t see how pretending it doesn’t matter makes you feel better; you really are tougher than you seem.
And yes, I have a crush on you.
Wow, that was awkward to write. Please don’t forget what I look like; if not, it’s like you’re writing to a ghost. I may or may not attach some photos to this letter, a few snapshots of yours truly so you can recognize me when we meet again.
P.S. It didn’t seem like the right moment to ask about your mother. I’m sure you’ll tell in time, and if not, that’s fine too.
that’s a little scary. i’ve been taking care, “the thing” is also spreading around here, and it’s made the news as well. i forgot that australian news isn’t as catastrophic as your american news but you’re right, once it reaches mainstream television, you know that’s when things are serious.
i’ve been back at school and zero precautions have been taken. i don’t think it’s as serious as you or our news is making it sound, but so far nothing has changed. Perhaps I’m more in the loop through your letters than what’s actually happening with us. Let me know what happens with your people over there and we’ll compare notes.
good for you! running, i hear, is very beneficial. i’m surprised, you seem like the stuck-at-the-office type, no doubt your mother has reasons to be concerned. after practicing professional weight-lifting at work, i think i’ll take the rest of my semester off. you never know how strong you are when you’re blocking the whiny comments from regulars whilst balancing a tray of seven different drinks in one hand.
to be fair, i hadn’t noticed just how tired i was of coffee shops or restaurants in general until i came back from Boston. my old friends, as well as my dad, kept asking me out to different places, bars, and restaurants to play catch up and I was so tired of just being inside those places. i can’t really explain it: i felt a sort of burnout from being surrounded by the noise of customers, of plates moving about, of cooking from the kitchen, and don’t get me started on the sound of a cash register.
you definitely don’t miss working at a coffee shop. there’s always a latent sense of duty, like i’m sitting here, drinking tea or coffee or chocolate, when i’m supposed to be back there helping out. it’s hard to relax sometimes, so i’ve taken to spending my evenings at home, having friends over with a home-cooked meal rather than go out and feel like i’m accomplishing nothing. i guess i understand why you feel the need to have your work matter: i’m not working anymore and, even though i didn’t much care for it, being a barista gave me something to do, even if it was preparing a rushed coffee for ungrateful customers.
i may also have a crush on you. perhaps.
please send photos.
no nudes though.
p.s. i like to think i’ll tell you in time. it’s not as bad as it sounds, i just don’t want to talk about it. i fear if i start writing about her, i’ll wind up vomiting all my emotions on the page and i’m not ready to open those doors.
Mika is a Mexican writer and translator, pretender, pet-lover, and a mess at 1 in the morning