I’ve come downtown for some early morning coffee. The rain is light but steady, the air is wet with it and smells of Spring. East 14th glistens in the lights of the cars passing by. The drivers are focused on getting to work and catching the traffic report. As the Sun continues to rise the street lights turn off one by one. Hidden behind the rain clouds, it’s a mystery how high above the green East Bay hills it really is.
I can smell bacon coming from the diners and the Coffee Baristas are in the midst of their morning rush. The aroma of coffee blends with the sounds of frothy steamed milk and croissants. I sit at the counter and take it all in. The line waiting to order single files up while each new person subtly looks over the shoulders or around the arms of those in front. Those waiting for their drinks are more unordered. They each seem to have a preferred place to wait. Some near pick up while others are farther back. One gentleman leans against a wall that may have been reserved for him. Once their name is called they stop to put the finishing personal touches on their drinks at the condiment counter before dashing out the door ready to face the day and the rain.
Several pedestrians are quick pacing their way to BART and Work. One has a brief case on his back. Another young woman is in a suit that make her lime green sneakers clash. I bet she has dress shoes in her backpack. The ranks of delivery trucks busily rattle by. One stops and the driver rolls several crates on a dolly through the door of a restaurant. I was admiring my own coffee when next I looked up to see the truck moving on to his next destination.
There is a crew, all dressed in bright orange vests cleaning up the gardens and curbs of the detritus from the day before. They seem to be less enthused with the rain. As they work I can see their conversation continue from one end of the block to the other. On the corner there are a couple old women. They are dressed in jackets and hoods, practical and perhaps impervious to the rain. They seem happy to see each other. One gestures either where she has come from or where she is going. The other obviously laughs and I can’t help but to smile. A couple of runners pass in opposite directions. The first has a stride like a gazelle, his phone in his hand and wires to his earbuds. I think he must be listening to a joyful aria. The other runner is slower. He has a paunch and a struggled stride, but I also see determination and I respect his initiative to even have started his run, especially in the rain. I wonder if the right music might help his stride.
The rain seems to be passing. All that is left in my cup is a touch of foam and some powdered chocolate. It seems to me that, like tea leaves, this chocolate might tell my fortune if I only had the time to study it more. Instead, it’s time for posts and layouts.