There’s this therapist who always hangs out at the cafe. I ask her if I could start seeing her. She says no. She’s like, I’m seeing too many people already, I’m supposed to be retired. I’m like, what’s one more? But I see the way she looks at me. She thinks, just because I have tattoos, piercings, and dreads, I’m a freak.
That’s how the journal of the Lisping Barista began the day after the Geeky Guy bought the Epiphany Cafe. I witnessed her talking to the Therapist Emeritus and getting turned away. For no good reason, I thought. I would much rather overhear their sessions than have to hack into the Lisping Barista’s computer, provided she even kept her journal on her computer and not in a spiral notebook or fancy bound volume with home made paper. Furthermore, being an employee, the barista would know enough to use the cafe’s Wi-Fi and not the router I provided.
I made haste to the cafe’s device, set up in a never-locked storeroom by the john, and swiped a crucial wire. The next day, she brought her laptop and opened it up when it was slow. Spellbindingfishfry was her password. How predictable can these people be? I got it on the first try and went in to see what she was writing.
Anyway, so she says to keep a journal. She goes, look inside and write about how you really feel. OK, I will. Thanks for your help, bitch. There’s probably no difference between writing in a journal and talking to a shrink, anyway. I’ve seen her talk with people. She never has anything to say. She just sits and smiles and drinks tea. Sometime she knits. What a racket. I wish I could be paid for sitting on my ass instead of running around here all day long, listening to people whine that their cappuccino isn’t foamy enough, and shit like that.
I hate to keep harping on this point, but it’s true. I, S. Harry Zade, am not the only fictional character walking around here. You all are as fictional as me, including the way you say you really feel in a private journal. I can’t believe the Lisping Barista is nearly as bad ass and angry as she would like the imaginary reader of her journal to think. She’s got to be hurt that the Therapist Emeritus didn’t want to work with her, afraid that she’s beyond help, and ashamed of being in need. In trying to come across as tough, she’s compensating for feeling excluded.
What would I tell her, if she would listen? Only that I’m going crazy. Bat shit certified crazy. On second thought, I don’t need her to tell me. I already know. I just need someone to put me back together again. Find out where my mind keeps going off to and keep it connected to my body. I need a “find my mind” app set up, so it’ll beep when I lose it and am ready to find it again.
OK, that’s better. Now we’re starting to get down to it; but she is trying to be cute when there’s some serious stuff going on.
It happens every time I meet someone good and he treats me well. I don’t have any problem with the assholes and pricks I usually date. It’s the good guys that bring out the crazy in me. Every guy I’ve ever been with turns out to be an alcoholic, ex-con, and/or woman beater; but, hook me up with a nice guy, who cares about how I feel, and it’s like something in me checks out, goes away, and I have to do something radical to get me back.
The Lisping Barista looked up from her laptop when the door opened to see the Weather Beaten Man in a Cowboy Hat come in, a day and a half late for his shift. She waited to see if he would come to the counter and order something or put on an apron and get to work. But, he had lost his mind, too; and knew this was the last place he’d seen it. He went straight to the Therapist Emeritus and interrupted her session with the Dog Fearing iPhone Pecker.
The Weather Beaten Man in a Cowboy Hat didn’t get any further with the Therapist Emeritus than the Lisping Barista did. She told him she was in session. Come back when she was done.
If the Lisping Barista had been feeling excluded, at least she wasn’t alone. She went on with her writing.
So, this guy likes me, I mean really likes me. He’s a super dweeb, but he really likes me and you know what they say about them; they become internet millionaires. So, I’m with him, we go hear the Fry, and everything is clicking, but then I check out. It’s like the monitor goes fuzzy and you can’t get a picture. Nothing. By the time I come to and go back to work, I lost my job. The geek swoops in and saves the day. Cavalry to the rescue. Real nice, but he’s not helping. I need him to be a dick. Like, how messed up is that!
The Dog Fearing iPhone Pecker said, no, go ahead, I’ve got places to go anyway. Actually, she had seen her nemesis, the Crazy Dog Lady, with her dogs, out of the corner of her eye, crossing the street, getting ready to come in.
The Lisping Barista might have been able to continue her journal and I might have been able to hear what the Weather Beaten Man in a Cowboy Hat had to say, but the Crazy Dog Lady came in before the Dog Fearing iPhone Pecker made the door. Two labs and a baying beagle, a stuck up dachshund and a hyperkinetic setter, a drooling Saint Bernard and one new, additional dog, a congenial Catahoula Cur changed everything. Everything else stopped. It stopped until the barista interrupted her writing, and whipped up seven lattes with no espresso. The dogs lapped them up and fought over what was left. Then the beagle bayed, the St Bernard drooled, the Labs chased their tails, and the dachshund found something wrong with everything. The Catahoula Cur put her front paws on the lap of the Therapist Emeritus , who was helping the Dog Fearing iPhone Pecker through a panic attack. The Cur gave her a big smooch. Did I say she was congenial? No one did any excluding, journalling, character creating, blowing off steam, head shrinking, dissociating, mind finding, computer hacking, or conversation overhearing then. It was as if, for the better part of an hour, the Epiphany Cafe lost its mind and didn’t know where to find it.