23 August 2006

the slammed barista

the only metaphor for the mental state we are experiencing now: the slammed barista. before the cop-out of cup-marking, before everyone ordered frappuccinos, there was a certain honour in being the one chosen to do the morning rush. or should I say, one of the two chosen, as back in the day, they actually trained baristas to work in tandem. the sing-song call-out, so mocked in popular culture but so crucial when your vision has narrowed so that all you can see are the three milk containers (skim, whole, soy), the seconds counting down for the perfect shot (19-23, by the way), the cups arranged in order, and the recitation in your head: half-caf venti no-foam latte. double-tall extra dry cappuccino. iced grande vanilla soy latte. grande skim latte. grande skim latte. decaf venti almond latte. single-shot decaf venti skim no-foam latte (aka the 'why bother'). you steam the milk, draw the shots, call back the drinks, call out the drinks, thank the customer, smile, even as you wipe the steam wand, dose the coffee, dash to the back for the espresso beans or the new bottle of vanilla.

the last few days have been all about that tunnel vision. except replace coffee with getting Luke onto the plane. and replace milk steaming with coordinating with our solicitor in Swansea to buy the house. and replace thanking the customer, running to the back, and refilling the hopper with coordinating our stuff in storage in California to get to the UK.

oh, and then there's that work I'm supposed to be doing, like revising my book. that's somewhere in the blackness of the non-existent peripheral vision.

for-here double-tall breve latte please.


sageblue said...

Sing it sister: like the channel knobs on a television, there should be much respect and even commemoration of the slammed barista--we who could hold drink upon drink in our head and work well with others.

Wusses who need pens.

dan said...

god, you're such a great writer. i've learned that from this blog, whereas i should have from other sources. love it.