The Back Aching Guy.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal. It should have meant nothing. I don’t even know you! In fact, I may have altogether missed you, this coffee shop is so packed.

But I noticed you waiting in line with an energy of excitement around you like a halo. I was sitting here, like I am now, using my computer to shop for shoes instead of working. You were next and so terribly enthusiastic about the scones. You kept peeking into the glass case, going back and forth between them and the croissants. You ended up landing on a blondie, and I commend you for that.

I wish I would’ve turned away then, stopped when I had the chance, your Ultimate Pastry Decision already turning the lastima valve on. But I caught the following moment right before you were going to order when you were avalanched by the pain. You winced as you bent over, bent in half, you were ninety degrees. You grabbed your middle back in agony, lamenting because you moved too fast. 

“Next,” the barista said so coldly. So causal. So careless. Did she not see you? But no sugary, floury, butter-ball could possibly ease your monstrous backache. Your face contorted like you had just sucked on seven lemons, and it’s not that you’re old, and it’s not that you’re unhealthy, you’re just a dude with a very bad back who loves his carbs. And the two don’t always mix.

You turned and went, taking nothing with you. You wobbled past the glass case trailing crumbs of defeat, with your left hand braced behind your body. So I did what I had to do. I bought a brownie in your honor. I stuffed it into my pouting pie hole and held your hurt-dance in mind. Dessert tastes better with a few tears anyway.

p.s. Sir, if you’re out there - maybe try a Bengay cookie next time.