People either don't understand what decent coffee actually is or they're far too particular about it. Of course, that concept can't be a surprise. I'm sure everyone is aware, right? Then, there's countless couples on dates, which is fine, but this place seems to be like a prominent hub for blind dates and other sundry casual meet-ups. I can tell. They all look overly presentable on the outside, but they are the worst kinds of wrecks on the inside. I know it. Some people have the inability to immediately know when someone has toxic character traits. That's all I'm trying to say.
I was almost finished with my shift about a month before the Grey Event. A dad walked in with three children, all wearing goofy clown makeup. The dad had only limited his makeup to the rosy cheek dimple things that most people associate with clowns. I had to pretty much stare at this guy's face for five minutes as he ordered like five 12oz hot chocolates. His red paint dimples were starting to crust over and were probably going to leave his cheeks dyed a faint red the next day. I don't know, that guy wasn't the problem. I just remember that it was close to the time that I really started getting irritated.
After, that I swept up a bit. There was a homeless guy sleeping on one of the recliners. Next to it was a side table with a green apple and what I assume is his notepad. He was sleeping, and I was planning on quitting, so I snatched it and read it in the bathroom for like 8 minutes. I like reading this kind of junk. One page said, "the muscles of terror and fear," circled and underlined. I skipped some blank pages, which kind of bothers me because there's no realistic reason to have that much space between notes. Another page had some mundane grocery list that was baffling in its own way. He even included honey baked ham on the list, which must be some kind of pipe dream if he thinks he's going to get enough money from panhandling to buy that kind of feast. Two pages later just had some stuff about a red cloud approaching and then the words, "Carrier Pigeons. Doves". I think this kind of nonsense is amusing, so I posted a picture of it online.
Back at the front register, another fucking couple came in and the guy ordered for the both of them. I tried to remain nice as he asked me about which of the drinks came with steamed milk. Like, I mean, dude, I really have no idea. He ended up ordering a plain coffee but his date was in the mood to drink something sweet, though. After two minutes of deliberation, he ordered her an iced latte with pumps of vanilla flavor squish. It was iced because he was very insistent upon the drink not touching the fucking steam wand.
Now here's the weird part. After I posted the picture of the scribbled notebook, a friend of mine sent me a message, telling me that the picture was rather significant. He, no joke, offered me a thousand dollars for the notebook. I just replied, "sure, whatever". An hour later, he came in, nervous. He told me that he was just killing a few birds with one stone and just checking out this shopping center. It really came across like he didn't care that he was dropping a thousand dollars. He's a weird man, but he gave me a lot of money. Of course this meant that I had to hand the notebook to him under the table. For a while, he hung around in one of the seats, writing his own notes in a separate notebook. Then he left. I haven't seen him since then because he doesn't go out a whole lot.
I don't know.
I left work and it was night time. I headed toward the bus. There are patches of darkness in the center where there aren't any street lights. Of course it was in one of these that the homeless man from earlier was standing. I avoided eye contact but I still nodded and smiled at him. Just as I was sure he was out of my sight, he grabbed the back of my shirt and I was pissed. "Give it back. Click clack." I said "you're a dumb old cunt, fuck off". He grew. He had several voices and yelled "The notebook. Where did it go? Clickle clackle and es at". How did he know I took it?
I told him to back off because he smelled funny.
He turned into a beast and ran off with my money.
I shouted, "come back here, come back with my ca$h"
He'd better come back before I beat that fat ass
When I caught up to him
His eyes had turned blue
He had crusty skin
and smelled of mildew
He slashed my face and cut me up good
My shirt became bloody and my skin was bruised
He ripped my lapel and clasped my left foot
I quickly fell down and my face hit the soot
I was dragged by a demon into the forest
I grew mold on my scalp and was bashed on the forehead
That cunt took my money and beat me to death
I threw up my lungs. Raekwon the Chef
I know now that he wasn't the same man sleeping in the cafe. The guy that beat me was one of them. One of those creatures that haven't yet been revealed in these stories. I was being watched. That kinda sketches me out. But whatever. I didn't have the notebook anymore. He left me alone after I told him who had it.