I overheard the barista tell her coworkers, “I make grown men cry and babies wish they were never born.” She knows me as Black Iced Tea Light Ice, Sweetened aka The Writer. I’m sure she knows other regulars with the same name. And I’m also sure she categorizes us into specific Starbucks-writer genres: the Fifty Shades of Grey-er, the Woe is Me Autobiography, the Kerouac Hack.
The men she makes cry probably deserve it. Taking for granted her home-brewing morning java skills. Never telling her how stunning she looks uniformed in black khakis. Chiding her for being so nice to every customer she comes in contact with. A real bunch of jerks.
I know the barista reads my genre. She’s a big fan. Because tonight she sat down at my table and asked me how my day went. If my tea was sweet enough. And if I could make all those crybaby men sound even worse than the punk-ass motherfuckers that they are.
Daniel Romo is the author of Romancing Gravity (Pecan Grove Press, 2012) and When Kerosene’s Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013). His poetry and photography can be found in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Yemassee, Word Riot, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches high school creative writing. He lives in Long Beach, CA. More of his writing can be found at http://www.danielromo.net.