Monday, January 26, 2009

Thanks a Latte

I've just come back from my favorite little Excelsior coffee shop, Mama Art Cafe, a cute place just three blocks away from Club Lisbon where I used to live with Xinthia, that I would escape to often. When I walked in I saw the Mama whom I'm pretty sure the cafe is named after, if not then it is named after her mama. She said hello with a pleasant but tired smile. And I grinned big hoping she might remember me. She didn't. So I asked how she was doing, and thought I might have seen a little flicker of recognition glimmering behind a slight twitch in her eye. That was good enough for me. 

I ordered "Can I have a mocha with whipped cream please."

"Which size?"

"With whipped cream." I stammered "Uh I mean medium." Hey I like my whipped cream.

I gave her the 3.75 it cost and waited patiently just reveling in the nostalgia that seemed to breath from the yellow and green walls of the cafe. I checked out their little library which had significantly shrunk since the last time I'd been there. This is a good thing thought because it serves as a community fund raiser. I picked up Cuentos de Eva Luna by Isabel Allende and took a seat on couch I used to sit and read in, even though it no longer faced the window. After reading and rereading the first paragraph for five minutes I heard "your mocha is ready."

I walked up to the counter and she handed me the mocha, sans whipped cream. Should I say anything? Damn I really want that whipped cream. "uh... can I have some whipped cream?"

"Oh jeese I forgot" she said and yanked the mocha back, pouring some of it into the steaming pitcher it came from, to which I gulped in fear that I may not get to enjoy those few ounces of chocolatey espresso goodness. She topped the drink off with whipped cream and then poured the rest into a mug for me to enjoy, giving me a warm smile to send me on my way. 

I sat down again to enjoy my mocha, struggled through a little more of Allende's exquisite but entirely Spanish prose and people watched before I decided to get up and order the iced latte I promised to bring back the boyfriend. So I went back up to the counter, book in hand and said "Can I get a medium iced latte? And I'd like to by this book."

"Oh yes" she responds "Can you check for me, how much is the book?"

I checked the back for a price "Six dollars." Damn I was thinking it was going to be like three.

I gave her a ten to cover the latte and the book. She gave me six fifty back. I smile sheepishly and say "Uh... I'd like to by the book too." 

"Ay... I forgot." She puts her hands on her head and grabbed the book back with the other, thinking for a second before she took six dollars out of the change she handed me. We both laugh a little, and than I stand around a moment, before I ask for the book back, to which she responds "Yes, its yours."

I sat down again finally accomplish finishing the first page of the book when I hear "Your latte is ready."

Cool. I walked up to the counter and see her scooping a dollop of thick white foam on to the steaming latte. Damn. "Umm..." I was almost embarrassed to go on but I did. "I asked for an iced latte."

She smiles as she puts the lid on for me. "Yes. It is a nice latte."


  1. First off...loved the title for this one. :) And I gotta say, you're a very patient customer! I'm actually the same way...well, most of the time. hehe Maybe "Mama" was just having an off day.