Susan's Blog

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Natty Longlegs

Every Friday we now have a routine. Nat and I drop Ben off at a weekly appointment and then we walk a few blocks to the Starbucks. Don’t think we are walking together; Natty Longlegs moves just below the speed of light and gets there way ahead of me, beautifully stopping at the large intersection of Washington and Beacon and waiting for the Walk sign. Still, I say, “Nat, slow down! We’re supposed to be walking together.” As in-shape as I am, I am no match for him, 19-year-old tall pitcher of water, on his way to get a sweet treat.

He gets to the Starbucks and strides inside like he owns the place. I burst in shortly after, out of breath. Nat walks up to the counter and stares at the cookies behind the glass. The guy who works at that time knows us by now. He is expressionless, half of his face hidden behind a long dark beard and glasses. Nothing fazes this barista. Hey, what’s to be fazed about anyway? With Nat he has one very happy, excited and regular customer.

I whisper to Nat, “Tell the man what you want but say it slowly and loud.”
Right away Nat says, speaking directly to the cookie case, “Chalkitchihcookiesplease!
The man stands there, blinking slowly. I walk over so that I’m standing right in front of him, gently pulling Nat to stand next to me. “Okay, say it again, Nat.”
“ChalkitchihcookiesPLEASE.” Always says please.
The guy goes and gets the cookie.
“Oh, and a small breve misto for me,” I add.

Nat gets his cookie and gets a table right in the middle of the Starbux laptop scene. All these people working alone with their computers and their long-empty cups of coffee or tea. Nat plunks down, throws off his coat, and starts eating and whispering to himself. Occasionally he looks at me, a long look, which makes me feel happy. Because it is winter, he is snorting back his runny nose every few moments. Our neighbors are working away; after the initial startled glance at this very animated young man, they go back to work, keeping their thoughts (if they have any) well-hidden.

As soon as Nat is finished, he jumps up. He throws his bag away, and comes back to my table, standing over me, looking at me. “Nat, wait for me. Sit down.” He sits, but he doesn’t like it.

I decide to take the remainder of my coffee with me; it is close to the time when we have to get Ben anyway. I recap it and say, “Okay, let’s go,” releasing Nat back into the cold and now dark city sidewalk. And he’s off.


That is so sweet.

— added by Jan on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8:04 am

If you only knew how accurately you just described our weekend ritual at Starbucks with my 12 year old son!!!! WORD FOR WORD!!!!! 🙂

Lisa / Ayla
Maple, Ontario

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Sounds like the two of you (and the barista) were the only people in the place that were actually fully engaged in living in the moment an Nat is lucky enough to inhabit that space most the time. A blessing that most of us will never enjoy.
Enjoy your next coffee. I am going to put the kettle on.

— added by Sue on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm

oh how I wish I lived closer to the city..we live in a very big town (plymouth) and usually go through the drive thru at Starbucks..but always the same friendly face poking through the window while Nick gets his rice krispy square (big square) but always the hightlight of my day too…watching our boys enjoy their treats..

— added by Holly Nappi Collins on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Michael loves Starbucks too, could recognize the logo very early on. He likes the Strawberries and Cream tall frappachino with whipped cream. One day, they left off his whipped cream (thinking that it was for his zaftig mommy) and he pipes up, “Whip please!”
I LOVE Starbucks. They always are kind with me and my boy

— added by Michael's Mom on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

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