Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stream of Consciousness: Day 7 (The Coffee Shop)

Almost every morning I get to Port Authority and choose from one of two spots that sell little cups of cereal.  Generally, I avoid the coffee shop on the first floor because it can get really loud in there, and I’m not talking about the music.  If you go in one morning before , I warn you: there is a group of coworkers/regular customers that meet there and take over the whole place.  Every time one of them walks in, there are loud greetings to be had.  It’s not a big place, and there aren’t many tables, so this group takes up a lot of space.  This “Cheers”-like atmosphere can get kind of annoying, especially because the minute you walk in there you start feeling like an outsider real quick.
Today I went in because they didn’t have any Frosted Flakes at the other place, and to my surprise, the main guy (there’s always a main guy) said “Good morning” to me with a nod of his head and a big smile.  I said “Good morning” back, with a small smile, and went over to the counter to get my cereal, a bit disconcerted.  As I paid, the main guy said loudly to me “Frosted Flakes, huh?”
“Yeah,” I replied sheepishly, turning back around.
“That cereal’s sweet!” he said.
I turned my head a little towards him. “Yeah, I need a little something in the morning.”
I walked over to get my milk, and then sat down at one of the few empty tables.
“Wow, Frosted Flakes! I haven’t had that in a long time! That must be delicious!”
“Yeah, it is,” I said. 
“Like, the milk gets really sweet, right?” He was trying very hard, and I didn’t understand why. The other men at his table were looking at me now, watching me eat my cereal.  I just wanted to eat my breakfast in peace. I’m not used to this kind of attention!
Finally, the guy stopped and went back to his own conversation. 
I wasn’t trying to be rude. I was just sleepy, and hungry!  Besides, this is New York City.  Friendliness doesn’t exactly run rampant.  He must not be originally from here…
Anyhow, I must admit that it felt sort of nice to be acknowledged as one of the “regulars” in the place.  Maybe now it won’t feel so weird to walk in there and sit down.  But at what expense?  Will I ever get to eat my Frosted Flakes in peace again?
I have been accepted into his secret club.  Now I just don’t know if I want the membership. 

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