Several months ago my friend Anna asked me if I had been to the Mayorga Coffee Roasters Coffeehouse, because she'd recently gone for lunch, and she really liked it. I had not. Now, you have to realize something about Anna. If there is anything lovely or of good report, Anna will approve of it. If there is anything shady or unseemly, Anna will gently imply that it might not be a good idea. If I'm ever concerned that my feelings on a particular topic might be out of whack, I can always run it by Anna and know that I'll be pointed in the right direction. I call her The Great Validater. So anyway, the point is, when Anna recommends something, I just do it.
On Monday, I was so worn out from being not very busy I took a sick day (some of which I slept away, thus proving to myself that if I wasn't sick and tired I was at least tired). The reason I mention it, is because it isn't very often I find myself with an entire Monday afternoon stretching out before me. That, my friends, is a luxurious feeling, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out Mayorga's. So I stuck a book in my purse and headed off.
It was everything Anna said it would be. First of all, it was incredibly spacious. I'm so used to cramped places, it felt almost scandalously roomy. They had heavy linen curtains. They had soft lighting. They had abundant comfortable seating. They played world music. They had a tasty sandwich menu. And a prodigious drink menu. They didn't care if you stayed all day. There were freelancer types scattered about typing on their laptops, reading the newspaper, stacking manila folders onto wooden chairs, and rummaging in their battered leather satchels. In short, it was entirely cozy!
I settled in. And fully expected to spend the afternoon reading and nursing a Diet Coke on one of the leather couches.
I'd been there about an hour and a half, and had just about decided that I should chuck it all and become a barrista, when my senses started to pick up on a "commotion." I looked up lazily to see if I could see the problem when a man came running out from one of the back rooms.
"Fire! Fire!" he yelled.
I blinked. "Fire? Fire?" I scoffed. Who yells "Fire! Fire!?" What are we, in a movie? But sure enough, a couple of seconds later some thick smoke started billowing out from the back room. Frantically, the freelancers started stuffing their leather satchels with their scattered papers and hightailed it out of there. The barristas started running around in circles; I presumed they were looking for fire extinguishers. I, myself sat there and watched the show. This is the second time I've been in a fire this year, so I can afford to have a nonchalant attitude about it, I suppose. But I didn't see what good my running around would do. So I continued to sit until I could actually smell the smoke strongly, at which point I decided that this wasn't going to be resolved quickly. So I got up, walked across the room to throw away my trash and walked outside.
I was more put out that I had to get up and leave, than the fact that I was in danger of smoke inhalation. And I was, of course, disappointed that I'd barely found such an excellent coffee shop only to see it go up in flames a mere 2 hours later. But considering the spate of odd and shocking things that have been happening in the last week, my overwhelming thought as I walked away from the heavily smoking building was "Of course."