It’s an overcast Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Java oozes into the air and a colors the mood. It’s warm, and time ticks slower than a heartbeat in this coffee shop. At the table across from me, a tutor sits down with her tutee, setting out a few notebooks, a calculator, and a couple pencils, preparing to chip away. At the adjacent table, a lithe man, bald, but in his twenties, is hard at work in front of a laptop, fingers momentarily rising, then quickly whipping back down to lash their next key, immersed in whatever his headphones are playing. At the next table, closer to me, a young, blonde-haired boy carelessly flicks fingers across an iPad while his mom, across from him, dips into a fresh StarTribune. A hot coffee rests next to her elbow.

At the counter, orders are taken, made, and distributed, all amidst a flurry of fluttering hands, quickly pouring, whipping, and stirring together customized drinks. Frequently, there are resounding clinks as a pinch of coins fall into a glass bowl: a considerate tip.

My interviewer is running late.


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