- Jake Corbin
(Drink) Bombs Away!
Art by Paul Rios
“Here we go again.”
It was Monday. I had an overwhelming urge to call in sick but decided to be an adult. Adults do things they don’t want to do all the time. Without caffeine, however, the day would quickly turn torturous. Locking the front door and hitting the streets, I made the two-block walk to Weatherstone. I wandered in through the front door and walked straight to the cash register. There wasn’t a line, only the smell of fresh ground coffee beans and the clicking of laptop keys in the far corner.
“What can I get you, man?” the barista asked warmly. It was clear he had been sampling the morning’s brew; his feet wouldn’t stop moving.
“I think I’ll go with… a large coffee,” I said, acting as if I really had to think about what to purchase. I guess I was still waking up. “To go,” I added.
As the barista turned to pour my drink, I noticed a small line had started gathering. A group of four hipsters and a businessman stood close behind, all waiting (semi-) patiently for their chance to buy a morning pick-me-up. I silently took note of my good timing while grabbing my cup of hot coffee from the Weatherstone employee.
Moving to my left, I cautiously walked with my open cup to the counter containing the sugar, cream and lids. Like some kind of chemist, I hunched over my cup adding just the right amount of compounds and liquids to make the perfect java formula. I threw away my swizzle stick and reached for a lid. Gripping my cup with one hand, I pushed the black, plastic top down with the other. Just to be safe, I ran my thumbs over the edges to ensure a tight seal. Nothing is worse than…
A massive puddle of coffee had replaced the dark counter below my cup. Liquid was spilling onto the floor like a dam had broken. I quickly went for as many napkins as I could grab, but it wasn’t enough. Cocoa-brown liquid was dripping from my hands, shirt and pants. My suede shoes were spackled with different shades of darkness. I could slowly feel something wet spreading over the toe of my left sock.
It took me a second to figure out what had taken place. Apparently the lid never snapped completely over the lip of the cup. So when I pushed down, the cup tipped and exploded like a dozen water balloons filled with hot, brown liquid. I was the victim of a self-inflicted drink bomb.
It was at that point I became increasingly aware of the five sets of eyes that had been occupying the space behind me in line a few moments ago. Everyone was staring at me. All conversation stopped. I’m pretty sure even the person on the laptop in the corner quit typing. There was nothing I could do to change the situation.
I finished cleaning my mess, salvaged what little coffee I had left and made a beeline to the front door. I made absolutely no eye contact as I scurried out of the entrance. If this had been a scene in a movie I would’ve at least had a funny exit line, but I didn’t. I just walked to work—sad, wet and smelling strongly of Old Soul coffee—wondering if the day would get any worse.