Gloria was deep in thought, as per usual for her. Today that deep thought was wondering if the baristas actually had a contest going to see who could make the biggest mess of her name on her cup. In the past month, she'd already had Goria and Lortab as contenders. Though, to be fair, the latter must have been the girl who was studying to be a pharmacy tech. Since Gloria was still the fourth in line, she figured she had at least 5 minutes to let her mind wander. It was the one time during the day where she refused to pull out her phone and become a cliché. The line was full of people staring at their phones and ignoring everyone else. Somehow, standing in line for $4 coffee made her painfully aware of how she too often spent more time crushing candy than forming relationships with those around her, or enjoying the world at large. It was the one place where she forced herself to not fish around her bag for the familiar Hello Kitty pink phone case that was the closest thing to a security blanket that she'd had since she was 6. Any other time of day, her hand would go on autopilot, reach in her purse, and the phone would connect to her hand like a magnet. So comfortable. Familiar. And just as Gloria was wondering if there would soon be an epidemic of hand cancer in her generation, she dropped her rewards card. The thin plastic card with 7 punchstamps that she'd been brushing back and forth against her left palm just did a spastic leap from her fingers. “Graceful,” she thought to herself.
Leaning down to get it, she saw that there was a crack in the floor. Kind of a large crack. Had that always been there, she wondered? As she stood back up, she decided on the cool and casual approach and muttered aloud, “Boy, that's quite a crack in the floor, huh?” to no one in particular. But of course, the person in front of her and the person behind her were both paying more attention to their phones. The older man in front of her seemed to be checking his email, and the young (college student?) girl behind her in line was taking a Buzzfeed quiz to determine which Harry Potter professor she would be. Gloria let out a loud puff of air as she wondered if the crack was something she should mention to the barista. She noticed that college girl would be Professor Snape and then she focused more on how this bubbly girl in a polka dot dress could ever be considered greasy and cold and misunderstood. She was even more confused by the girl's reaction of no surprise. And then it was her turn to order a grande half-caff macchiato and then sidle up to the pickup area and wait for her drink as she browsed the community bulletin board. So much always seemed to be happening here- it made her wish that it was her neighborhood. But this coffeehouse was on her way to work, and not really close by her home.
Today on the bulletin board, she saw that a new flier had been posted for a community play. There was the always-there notice about the Gardening Club, via some local Catholic church. They had those tear-off info lines at the bottom and Gloria wondered if the sole missing line had been the person who posted it, to make it look more enticing to others. That's what she imagined she would do if tasked with putting the flier there. Community garage sale happening next week, someone advertising their direct sales business, a local realtor offering a workshop on understanding the value of home ownership- typical wait-reading fare. This didn't count as ignoring people around her, because she was giving the appearance of wanting to connect with the community.
“Lorgia? Half-caff macchiato for Lorgia?” Maybe the barista at the register today was dyslexic? At least all the letters were correct, if not in the right order. She grabbed her drink with a thank you to the crafting barista, and headed outside to her car, ready to jump into her day.