I have found a new place for myself at the local Panera of late. See, my coffee maker is broken, and starting the day without that delicious jolt of java is simply a bigger risk than I dare. Starbucks doesn’t do it for me, I dislike the culture as much as the coffee. Peet’s is too far. Coffee Bean too crowded.
09 Nov 2012 11 Comments
But Panera is new, lines are short, and while it’s not my coffee, it is a decent stand-in.
So I have found a new place for myself at Panera.
Truth be told, I’m typically in and out rather quickly. There is much to do, especially in the mornings…
But each day this week the cup of joe without which I’d not make it to my desk has been brewed by the same man. He wears a blue shirt and, I believe, a manager’s badge.
He knows to give my non-fat milk,
and that I don’t care for foam.
He’s careful to put a sleeve around the cup so that it’s not too hot.
And I don’t know his face.
His skin is dark. Well, darker than mine.
But I don’t know his face.
How many people have I not seen today?
The checker at the grocery store?
The woman who looked directly into my son’s eyes when he got his new glasses?
The mom in line behind me in carpool?
The server at the restaurant?
How can it be that these people’s lives are wound around mine, and yet I fail to see?
If the coffee had spilled, I’d have remembered his face.
If the glasses were wrong, I’d have remembered her face.
If the mom in carpool had hit me, I’d most assuredly remember her face.
It’s easy to get lost in the city. It’s easy to go unnoticed. And worse, it’s easy not to notice – a failure to see. The lives behind these faces are those of people’s whose lot is cast with mine. It’s time to see their faces…