Wednesday, May 20, 2009

heavy spill

Oh jesus. If my baristas at Ninth Street Espresso didn't already find me a peculiar little one, then it's certain they do know.

Lately I've come to casually befriend my new favorite barista, who everyday has a new question for me, gradually piecing me together, one information at a time. "Hey, where are you from?", he asked me one morning. "How was your decaf?", "How was your weekend? "Will you be here this summer?", "How long have you lived here?" and "Hey, what's your name?". Yes, siree we have exchanged names, and nowadays I'm greeted with "hey Sarah!", when I walk through the door, even though I've vented that I kind of liked going by the name of "small Americano".

I worked late last night, only had about 6 hours of sleep before waking up this morning and finishing the last of my article. And so, around 11 am I went down to Ninth Street, slightly drowsy, feeling a bit off, only to find my old favorite barista and my new favorite barista working together.

The two of them are palls, I realize, because when they work together, they mostly horse around with one another, and don't speak with me as much. But eventually they did, and we spoke of road trips, where I might go with Marie on our final trip before she leaves. We settled on Ithaca, I think.

And so I got my Americano, iced, seeing it's about 25 degrees celcius today. I carried it over to the milk, lid and straw area, and what did I do but somehow knock it over. And it wasn't a neat little spill. It was on the wall, the floor, the chairs.

"I'm so, so sorry", I wailed, blushing, in utter disbelief of how much liquid one such plastic cup can contain. "In my defense, I had very little sleep last night", I tried.

People snickered. A guy said "Whoa!". The baristas laughed, but told me not to worry about it.

"I've been here long enough to witness a spill or two", my favorite barista said as he got down on his hands and knees with me, trying to dry up the iced Americano mess.

"Why were you up late anyhow?", he asked while we were crunched under the chairs, wiping.
"I was finishing an article", I said, flustered, a little embarrassed.
"Oh, so that's what you do?", he said. "You're a freelance writer?"
"Yeah", I said, noticing his legs were skinnier than mine.
I think I forgot to ask anything in return.

Then my old barista crush prepared me a new Americano. Iced.
"Be careful", he said as he handed it over to me.
"Yes", I whispered.

Then I tipped them well.

Jeff Wall's "Milk"
Troy Williams' "Spilled Milk".
Ingo Maurer's "Porca China".

Epilogue: "Were you nervous or something?!", my mother laughed when I told her the story. "I might", I said. "But I always have really poor motor functions when I've had too little sleep".

There will be no laser cutting or eye surgery for my part today. No dishes either.


Matteo said...


Sarah Carlson said...

I'm guessing you can visualize the mess.....Anyway, what are you doing reading my blog at this hour? You should be sleeping. Or better yet, out looking for that night light.

mette/ungt blod said...

im imagining a blog -or maybe a book- of the ninth street espresso "love" story... it would be like if your grandmother wrote letters about the the bank cashiers (?) who she flirted with and the letters were found a 100 years later and published as a love story and a story about its time.... :)

Sarah Carlson said...

Ooo, that's such a sweet idea. It would be so nice actually. Perhaps I should conceptualize....or perhaps that you ruin it...No, I really like the idea:O)