Yesterday, I went down to the local coffee shop. When I walked in the door, I realized that I was a quarter short. But most times I tip a buck even if I only spend 5 dollars. I figure that the barista can pay my shortage.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, the barista is a rookie. He rings it up and tells me I am short a quarter. I suggested that he take 25 cents out of the tip jar.
He looks at me as if to say, “You’re kidding me, right?” Then Ryan shows up. The rookie explains the circumstances to him. Ryan grasps the situation immediately, reaches into the tip jar, pulls out a quarter, and without a word gives the rookie a lesson.
Next time I will make sure that I have enough change.
This morning I was having coffee with Pat. Michael walked into the coffee shop, put-together as usual. However, today he has bloody marks on his neck and face as if he had cut himself shaving. [Oops, he has a full beard.] But I won’t ask him about it. If he comes my way I will greet him as any other day.
He was wearing a green T-shirt with a Harley-like skull-like Marine logo with lettering that said Marine Recon.
Apparently Pat and Michael have started a conversation about this before. Pat asked Michael where he got his training.
Michael: Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [So far, so good]
Pat: What did you do?
Michael: [His mood darkens.] I don’t like to talk about it. It triggers my PTSD. I don’t like being questioned about that. I told a woman at the VA not to question me. “Call the police if you are going to question me.”
Pat: I wasn’t questioning you.
Michael: [Tone of voice gets deeper and more ominous.] Yes, you were.
A friend that he was with asked Michael to come up to the counter to order his breakfast. Michael and friends got their food and went outside. Disaster averted. I remarked to Pat that the conversation was uncomfortable. Just after our conversation took a natural turn to something else, in walked Michael. He walked over to Pat.
Michael: I am totally disabled, have been for 25 years. Prisoner of War camps do that to you.
Michael took out his wallet, and took out a card. I couldn’t see the card clearly, but it wasn’t a normal business card. It looked to be more like a credit card, complete with a magnetic strip.
Michael: [to Pat] Here, take this.
Pat: No. I believe you.
Michael put the card back into his wallet. Without another word he leaves the coffee shop.
A young lady was ordering coffee at the Bisbee Coffee Shop. She was like all the other young ladies ordering coffee except that she was wearing a prayer cap.*
I was waiting for my coffee as was a young man. He greeted me, even through we had never met. He got his coffee and went to join the group that included the young lady.
I couldn’t figure out whether he was just an outgoing young man, or was there something about my demeanor that gave me away.
I, too, was raised in a Mennonite home.
* In case you want to know more about prayer coverings: http://www.prayercoverings.com