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3. as low as I go... probably not...

3. Monday….

Everyone showed up today; the whole army; actually three armies, from three sub-contractors. Good thing, because the owners and the architects are really sweating it that we’re behind schedule. There’s ‘the Blame Game’, but so far it hasn’t erupted into all out war.

We’ll see…

So far, so good today… not even 8 am and materials arrived, blah blah blah…

The important thing is that I made it to the job, and I nearly didn’t.

This morning I went to the coffee house on Main and nearly died. I should say that I was nearly killed.

First, let me describe the place for you. It’s a red-brick hallway about 30 feet deep and maybe 6 or seven feet wide. I’ve been in bathroom stalls wider. I say it 30 feet deep but I don’t really know, as there is a partition wall that I can’t see past. It could open up into a cul-de-sac or be a hundred by a hundred back there.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that in order to buy your coffee you have to walk about twenty-five feet back to the order counter.

This morning there was one other customer, at the counter, and one employee, the ‘Barista.’ That’s the term they use so they can charge you like your coffee had to be flown in straight from Milano, Eee-taly— * Ka-ching! * Gee dude, where ya been? That's like ancient news... What can I say... I'm a little behind...

Yeah, yeah, whatever… it tastes good, has about three times the flavor of typical coffee, so…

So this morning I wasn’t in Italy, I was in the France, the trenches, circa 1917, during a mustard attack:

The customer is just leaving, and I squeeze past to place my order. You literally have to turn sideways.

I’m twenty-five feet deep into this corridor of a room, and * boom*, that’s when it hits me. I don’t know who/which one, but somebody is lactose-intolerant or something equally as sick. I can’t help myself and I let out an audable: Oh-my-gawd- and think: My-eyes: they’re burning right out of my head– with a short cough. I hold my breath; cover my face. I can’t inhale.

Dude, if you can leave one of those, you can handle some abuse, back. I don’t see either of us fist-fighting in this cloud, anyway, that’s for sure. Not enough oxygen…

But customer ‘X’ is already out the door, gone. Somehow, I manage to squawk, “Large coffee.”

I continue squinting and holding my breath for what seems like forever. It seems to help. My money is on the counter (I don’t feel like touching anything at this point) as he passes me my cup. Somehow I manage to make it back out to the vehicle.

You fucker.

Only a guy would do that. That’s what my wife would say, and she’d be right.

Not sure if I should yelp this. I mean, I don’t know for sure who did it: the customer, or the employee, but I don’t think I’ll be going back for a while. Shellshock. I know it’s unlikely, lightning strike at the same spot twice, but still…corridor of a room? Corridor of doom.

Who rented this spot?


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