kick the cat

She sees me set my coffee down on my usual table at the corner. Gives me a little wave, then gestures at the dirty cups two tables down from me. Spends few minutes taking the cups to the back of the kitchen, thoroughly sprays and wipes the table, before ambling my way.

She asks me how I’ve been, then with a somber look tells me her day has not been as good. A handful of customers have been snappier than usual, some of them mean. Many more are behaving that way these days, she says, maybe because they are under so much stress, they forget how to be kind. People like her bear the brunt, and at times it makes her sad, because why would anyone be so mean to strangers?

She shrugs, and mumbles as if speaking to herself, that she does not know where people come from and what they’ve gone through, so she lets go and smiles. Just then, I see flickers in her eyes, like she just remembers something. Her face lights up and she tells me today’s apple and cinnamon muffins are especially good, would I like some?


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