Wah, Wah, Wah

Perhaps I have been remiss in describing the coffeehouse. It resides on the bottom floor of an old Appalachian building on the top of a ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. We’re just above 3,000 feet, which means something around here (and means nothing where I grew up). Since the craft school is basically like an artist’s colony the coffeehouse is designed to serve students, faculty, and staff three seasons a year. Our other patrons are mostly tourists, and usually they only come during the summer or at the peak of fall colors in October. Maximum, we can seat fifteen people in rickety wooden chairs and on a busy summer day we do $200 to $250 in sales. During the fall and spring we do about $100 in sales per day and we close for three and a half months every winter.

All of this brings me to my point, which is that my ankles are swollen like small Nerf balls and my pinky toes are blistered from doing over $400 in sales today, six sinkfulls of dishes, and pulling enough espresso shots to make my forearms stiff. There are only about 120 students on campus this session, plus about thirty staff today. Per capita that’s several bucks each and of course not everyone came in. Might that be a record? Apparently half of the school slept through breakfast, was still hung-over well past noon, and felt stupid-hot from the uncalled for humidity that sucked life out of the air all day long.

In other words, they needed caffeine in ungodly amounts at repeated intervals. And they tipped enough to pay for my share of this month’s phone bill. Hallelujah, I’m home.

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