my father taught me to ritualize coffee, but kevin taught me to really worship it; he owned a cafe called the amsterdam, and he hired me for the summer after my first year of college. i learned that diedrich should be pronounced Died Rich, that a real mocha started with homemade chocolate milk, that the weird mercedes people who materialized at five fifteen would tip big if you let them in early and seemed empathetic. i'd be on the phone to france from three thirty to four thirty each morning and at work by around five, and for the first few hours each day i had only to greet the early people, chat with the old woman who delivered steaming pastries, and sit over the crossword puzzle with a scone and a custom drink. i was back home, stinking of espresso and wonderful almond paste, by noon; by the time i napped and reentered the waking world, the sun had nearly gone down. i completely avoided the tacky diurnal business that forces most people to scuttle around at unholy hours.

naps and gloom make everything more reasonable. san francisco was doing its holiday thing when i woke up at dusk today: a cab had a christmas tree jammed in its bonnet, a cable car actually caroled as it thundered by. normally i hate that shit, but i was warm and swirly and half awake. not sure they appreciated me at the grocery store, but i think they were just jealous.

i've never been to seattle. in my head it's eternally dreary, and i could live there without fleeing sunlight. i'm taking my flip flops with me to washington tomorrow. they may be useless, but in my perfect city, i wear sandals in the rain. i have to find out if this could be the place.

best custom drink: the vincent vega. coca cola, vanilla syrup, a shot of espresso. don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

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