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anecdotal work

Four More Years.

Although some time had passed, it seemed like just yesterday I’d felt the stigma. The misplaced shame, the silent resentment, walking away from the counter with a vague yet persistent urge to shower.

I’m talking, of course, about Buford’s coffee order.

Last time I worked for him, he went through several phases. There was the iced coffee with extra whip and Splenda, the breve latte (that’s half-and-half with espresso), and now this: the Lo-Foam Large Skim Cappuccino With Seven Equals and Whipped Cream. Perhaps the greatest embarrassment of them all.

At the Espresso Royale on Newbury street, I averted my eyes and handed the barista a handful of blue saccharine packets, quietly giving the dreaded order.

“Um, is this for you?” He asked, not wanting to seem rude.

“Christ, no. I’ll have a large dark roast with a shot of espresso.”

“Ah, a real man’s drink.” Clearly impressed, he set to work on Buford’s noxious concoction. “But OK, really, SEVEN Equal?”

“Seven Equal,” I replied, “It’s the order I was given.”

Coffee Dude offered me an extra shot in my redeye, then, carefully folding the Equal into a carafe of skim asked, “I mean, do you CARE about the person you’re giving this to?”

I laughed, six years of odd memories floating up from the depths. “Let’s just say it’s been a long time.”

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