Bartender + Barista + Bartendista

My customers love me and I love them. Dora bursts through the doors:

“I need you!” Her voice is elated yet grasping as she runs behind the counter to give me a hug.

And as if on cue, I know precisely what all of this translates to: A double-tall-soy-latte-to-go-please, and with her cup in hand on her way out the door she smiles back at me and sends me that sweet Southern call (with a hint of badass in it): “See ya later, darlin’.” Whoosh she is gone, back into the magic of the craft school.

There’s a more passive style, too, like Guthrie. He likes it when I try and read his mind. Earlier this afternoon he came in, feet scuffing the floor, left hand twisting his goatee out of habit.

“Hmm. Katey, I don’t know. Err, ehh. Uuummmm

It sounds sometimes as if he is in pain. Pre-caffeine, he really hates having to make decisions. “What are you doing this afternoon?” I inquire.

“Going to work for Thor.”

“Hot glass?”

He nods, yes. This means I want to make him something to keep him alert in the studio but we don’t want his hands to shake.

“And how are you feeling, temperature-wise?” I ask further.

“Hmm, you know. Either way. It’s warming up out there though, eh?”

I glance over his head out the window to the mountain-top view. Indeed, a few clouds have parted. “Ok, got it. How about the summer special I made up for you in July?”

“A little cold for that, right? Though…” He puts his hands in his pockets, wades over to the door, and peers out the window from beneath his shaggy black locks. “Ahhh, yes. Ahem. Hmmm.”

“Guthrie, what time do you start with Thor?”

“Huh? What, yeah, oh.” He looks at the clock on the wall. “About now. Well, not technically now. In like, oh, six minutes.”

“Uh-huh.” I tap the counter, awaiting the cue.

“Yes, the summer special. Do it, perfect!”

And with that: A double iced latte with the shots run through twice, light on the ice so Guthrie can sip off the water that settles the top, then let him hand me back the cup so I can top if off with a bit more milk, easing up the ratio to an ungodly perfection.

“Oh god,” he jolts awake when the cold hits his tongue. “Why is it so good?”

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