The Usual

The barista knows what I like. I get the same drink every Monday, thru Wednesday­, Friday,­ and Saturday. If I happen to come by on a Thursday, I might try the special but Sunday, they aren’t open. On all the other days, I order the same drink the same way. My usual, one might call it. It’s …

Venti, half whole-milk, one-quarter 1%, one quarter non­fat, extra hot, split quad shots (1-1/2 shots decalf, 2-1/2 shots regular) no foam latte with whip. Two packets of splenda, 1 sugar in the raw, a touch of caramel, and 3 short sprinkles of cinnamonon.

It’s complicated, I know. But I’ve been ordering this drink daily for over a year now. All the barista’s know my drink by memory and sometimes start to make it before I even get to the front of the line to request it. Without fail however, once I’m at the cash register, the barista’s, who I all know and all know me, will ask …

“What can I make for you today?”

I sigh and I smile and I say aloud my order.

Venti, half whole-milk, one-quarter 1%, one quarter non­fat, extra hot, split quad shots (1-1/2 shots decalf, 2-1/2 shots regular) no foam latte with whip. Two packets of splenda, 1 sugar in the raw, a touch of caramel, and 3 short sprinkles of cinnamonon..

It taste perfect. Just what I asked for- just what I wanted. I used to get upset at
having to say my drink request over and over. I would say to the barista …

“If you know by now what I want, why do you ask?”

They would respond, without hesitation …

“Knowing what you like is no reason to assume that’s what you want.”

I knew that they knew my drink order. They knew that I knew that they knew they had to ask. That it was polite not to assume but ask.

So when my lover of three years, woke me out of my sleep to tell me to wipe his semen off of my swollen vagina…

I wondered how his drink was being handled.

He’s a simple man. He just wants a hot coffee with a lot of sugar and a little cream. Maybe the barista thinks she knows him well enough to make his drink without asking what he wants- if he wants it.

It’s likely that he walks into the door, see’s her working all dirty smock and wide-eyed, and knows he doesn’t have to say a word. That’s she’s ready and available to give him what he wants. Maybe he feels entitled. He’s been coming to this coffee shop for 3 years. Why would he need to remind her that he likes his coffee hot? That he wants a lot of sugar and a little cream. Doesn’t matter how much a lot is a lot or how little is a little, it just matters that it’s ready and avaliable when he wants it.

Maybe the barista has been making it too easy for him.

When he said those words to me “Clean up, we’ve just had sex.” ­ Oh, I wasn’t gonna get upset not where he could see me.

Especially when I knew that he knew he hadn’t given me his order. He’s supposed to ask.

Because he knew that I knew that he knew we weren’t open on Sunday’s or when I was sleeping or when I hadn’t consented yet.

So this act is breaking & entering.

This is stealing.

This is not the usual. It’s ..

Venti, half whole-milk, one-quarter – I didn’t give your permission one-quarter
non­ -you don’t own my body- extra hot, split -I’ll you this gun- shots (1-1/2 shots don’t touch me, 2-1/2 shots get out of my house) no foam latte -get out of my body- with whip. Two packets of splenda,1 sugar in the raw, a touch of caramel, and 3 short spinkles of…. it’s still called rape.

God showed me something today. While trying to discover the condition of my heart, my head ached and swelled in pain. The more I thought about my heart, the more my headed pounded. I quickly realized that God was revealing the condition of my heart via the literal pain in my head. An ache; from dealing with years of buried heart-break. The story may not make much sense compared to what I’ve just said here. But this is just one image of heart swelling head aches.

– Paula Gillison

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