The gig was a breeze last night. Good players. Great audience. It was a restaurant/bar in the middle of what used to be this town’s musical and cultural hot bed. But, that was a long time ago and , until last night, most folks I met gave the impression they preferred the “finer things in life” to be best forgotten. Last night, though, things were different. Folks were happy to boogie, glad to cheer and tap their feet to something other than what they were used to hearing.
Man, I was so happy after the gig, breaking down and loading the equipment was “wax on-wax off” easy. The tips were good and the Blues Cafe made enough money to pay the band in cash. It was a night for celebration and, since I no longer celebrate w/ booze, blow or bongs, I good-byed my band mates and drove straight to the coffee shop.
It was Saturday night so, of course, Rose was working. She’s my favorite server. Not just coz she’s cute, 4′ 10” and has the “best” personality. Not just coz she’s funny as hell and hugs me soon as I enter the place. I mean, she could posses none of the attributes I’ve just described and she would still be my favorite server. She’d be, hands down, my favorite server, no matter what, for one simple reason: she makes sure my coffee cup is never empty.
And I can drink coffee. I drink it like I used to drink whiskey, all day every day, in quick, huge gulps w/ a thirst that’s never quenched. And Rose understands this so, soon as I empty my cup, she fills it. If no one else is drinking the dark roast blend, she puts on a “fresh pot” of the blend “just for” me. And, when it’s time for my “to go” cup, it’s right there with the change back from my ticket. I take the large go cup and tell Rose to keep the change plus “whatever I’ve left on the table.”
On slow nights, Rose sometimes pours herself a coffee and joins me for a little while. I like it when that happens and, last night bein’ a slow night, it happens. I was sitting at the “low” counter so, since she couldn’t sit across from me, she sat next to me. Rose is easy to talk to coz she has a lot to talk about and she takes the time it takes to really listen. Last night, I found out she’d been working at the coffee shop for over 20 years and she found out I had neither wife nor girl friend.
“That’s not fair,” she laughed. “So many men have both and, here you are w/ neither.”
“It’s not so bad.”
“Joe,” she said. “You need a girlfriend.”
“Nah, all I need is you sittin’ down beside me every time I’m here on a slow Saturday night.”
“Yep,” I said. “Really.”