Every morning my husband and I head to our local coffee shop which is owned and operated by a wry and deadpan barista from Kosovo. Every morning we order the same thing -- my husband a double macchiato and me, a small latte. Every morning we make the same silly jokes about too much or too little caffeine, the lack or availability of the homemade baklava, and whether soccer on T.V. would be vastly improved if only the ball were a neon color that lit up under the T.V. cameras so that non-soccer aficionados would stop asking, "Where in the hell is the ball?" thereby disturbing everyone else who does know what is going on.
But this morning I received a sweet surprise. Usually, there is very little in the way of decoration on my latte foam (really such an American craze!) and so I was charmed by this fellow staring back at me -- with his tentative Eastern European smile -- the "It will be a good day if the plague doesn't strike" sort of smile. But oh...after slowly drinking it down, I noticed that its expression had changed into this:
Alone at the bottom of a dirty cup with a "the end is near" kind of sadness. When I polished it off with a final slurp, the dry foam in my mouth felt as if I had swallowed a ghost. Poverino!