Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

“Our Boy is Hurting Right Now”

Leon burps, wipes his mouth and gives thanks for Hungry Andy’s pit beef sandwich. In the well-lit restaurant around the corner from le café, he reclines at his table. It is a gloomy Monday night, a week before Christmas Eve.  The stout, army veteran with beard and build reminiscent of Santa Claus, sole patron in the shop, peers at a television adjacent Andy’s ordering counter. The channel is CNN.

More details emerge in the Newtown school massacre. What really motivated the killer?

A familiar voice interrupts the noise of the newscast.

“Well look who it is!”  The barista strolls into Hungry Andy’s with a cold weather knit cap on his head and stuffed backpack on his shoulders.

“Hey, man,” Leon says.

“Well look at you with the long hair,” remarks Andy as he walks out from the kitchen.

“Gotta hide it at the shop. Can’t be serving hairy grub, you know,” explains the barista as he drops his pack on the chair beside Leon. “You goin’ to the café Christmas party tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

The barista walks to the counter, “So, Andy, that was me on the phone, I gotta run.”

“Oh.” Andy turns towards the kitchen to return with a plastic bag containing a cheese steak and a side of sweet potato fries. “Ten dollars.  Neighborhood discount.”

“Awe, thanks, Andy. Keep one for yourself.”

“So I’ll see you tomorrow?” Leon asks.

“Something came up. I’m leaving town before dawn. Won’t be back til late.”

“Where you goin’?”

“Long story. Ask around at the party tomorrow.” With that, the barista pushes open the double doors and walks into the mid-December cold.

Leon turns his attention back to CNN.

He loved his video games. StarCraft. He spent days planning, plotting and executing futuristic war strategies. And then there’s this, Lanza was at a shooting range three times over the past six months, at least once with his mother.


The sun rises, barely visible as it struggles to penetrate the gray clouds in the seven o’clock hour that is Tuesday morning.  The barista and Abby are driving through Delaware, the proud, first state of the Union,

Since the barista winterized the Dolphin, Abby offered her car for the five-hour impromptu road trip. Abby has patronized le café and lived in the Point called Fells years before the barista arrived on the scene.  She often grades the writing of her eighth grade English students during the barista’s Sunday shifts.

 “So this is turning into a type of college reunion,” the barista reflects, “There’ll be folks here I haven’t seen in 15 or so years.”

“It’s nice that so many are making the trip,” Abby responds with sad smile. “No doubt they can use the support.”

The barista digs his sunglasses from his backpack. It is when he rests them on his nose and ears when the daydreams begin.

The year was 1999, springtime. The place was Philadelphia, on a softball field. The barista is on second base after launching a double into the right center gap. Rekos steps up to the plate wearing flip flops. He might as well be swinging a wiffleball bat on the beach. Then he lines a base hit in the hole on the left side—a la Nomar Garciaparra—as the barista races home.

That’s how the season went that spring. That Pi Kappa Phi squad swept the La Salle intramural tournament and advanced to the City Six tournament at Temple where we had our asses wiped. One of the barista’s fondest memories—along with his first inning dinger at Temple to give La Salle their only lead in the playoffs—was of his flip-flopped first baseman.

“It’s about time we stop for some coffee,” Abby decides.

In agreement, the barista pulls into the next rest stop where they stretch their jaws and their legs. It was a short night’s sleep. He tries to wrap his mind around the events of the past weekend. Cooling off the coffee in his newly purchased paper cup, the television wrestles away the barista’s attention.

Abby appears from the sugar and cream station, “We gotta go. At least three more hours—if no traffic through Philly and New York.”

The barista wipes his eyes, nose and makes his way back out to the car.


The New Jersey turnpike is a monotonous drive—straight and flat with smokestack scenery. Toll booths and traffic disrupt the cruise control, while speeding cars weave between big rig trucks which—at one point or another—block one or three of the four highway lanes. In Abby’s car a recording of Storytellers plays on the stereo. It is the bootlegged, unedited, unaired appearance by the Black Crowes.

The barista slips into another daydream during the acoustic rendition of Nonfiction.

It is the autumn of 2003, in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego—where the barista had been living for four years. The barista scored a ticket to the Chargers—Patriots football game from his buddy JM.  A group of guys are drinking light beer and barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs next to their cars. A couple of the guys—Ryan and John—recently moved to the southern Californian city. They were college buddies with JM at Northeastern—certain Patriot fans.

“So who are you rooting for?” Ryan asked the barista.

“I don’t have too much of a rooting interest. I kinda like both teams. I’m really an Eagles fan.”

“Eagles?” Ryan said with an air of disbelief.

“Yeah, well, I grew up in PA and went to school in Philly.”

“Where’d you go?” John asked.

“La Salle.”


“Yup. Class of ’99.”

The next question inevitably gets asked when discussing colleges, and invariably—in the barista’s experience—the answer is ‘no’. Unbeknownst to the barista, the law of attraction was in effect.

“You don’t know Rich Rekos, do you?” John asked.

“Do I know Rich Rekos? I’ve only played a hundred beer pong games against that joker. We only pledged the same fraternity. Ha! You know Rich?”

“We grew up together in Connecticut!”

Long, lost brothers: the barista, John and Ryan become instant friends.


It is half past ten o’clock when the barista and Abby pull into a nearly vacant rest stop in Danbury, Connecticut—well, nearly vacant if you discount the lineup of big rig trucks at the weigh station. Most importantly, the bathrooms are quiet so Abby has a place to change into her dark skirt and turtleneck. The barista slides on his gray suit and fixes his green tie from the passenger seat. He then dials Ryan and John. Each are married with children now, and settled in New England.

“Hey, bud,” greets the barista, “You guys want to meet for a bite?”

“Nah, you go ahead without us,” Ryan says, “John’s grandmother made blueberry pancakes. Let’s rendezvous at the church.”

Looking dapper, the barista and Abby saunter out of the gray morning into a bright Danbury deli.

“We’ll take a cup of broccoli soup, a Reuben…”

“And a newspaper.”

They sit by the window at one of the two simple tables and wait for their lunch. Abby reads the headlines.

A week of mourning: Funeral details set for some school shooting victims. 
First responders knew ‘it was something bad’
The evidence: Investigators trying to determine what led to rampage.

--from The News-Times, Danbury, CT

“Reuben and a soup,” the gentleman announces in his New York accent as he delivers the order to the table. “So where are you off to today?”

“Well,” the barista hesitates. “We’re going to a funeral. A buddy of mine’s daughter was a victim of the shootings.” The confession chokes him. As the words flow from his mouth, his stomach twists like a washrag being drained of water. It was the same feeling he first felt upon waking Saturday morning, when he read John’s text message:

Rekos’s daughter was killed in the school shooting yesterday. That was our hometown. Our boy is hurting right now. I’ll try and take care of him as best I can. Horrible.

“I’m so sorry,” the gentleman nods, “Ya know, I’m a retired cop from New York City. And I ain’t seen nothing like what they’ve seen over there. My heart goes out to you and the family.”

“Thank you.”


A line of cars stretch at a standstill nearly three tenths of a mile on Sandy Hook Drive, from St. Rose of Lima Church to a packed diner adjacent the highway. Time quickly approaches noon, so after exiting the highway the barista pulls into a bank parking lot to avoid the wait. As he and Abby walk along the sidewalk, through his sunglasses he notices a man crouching like a catcher, wielding a camera with a long-range zoom lens.

“We just had our picture taken,” notices the barista while the Connecticut State Police herd the media away from the church parking lot and the memorial. 

As Abby and the barista walk across the street, two lines form, wrapping around the entire front of the church—the same church from eight years ago where Rich married Krista. Inside, it is standing room only.

The silence is deafening. The organ begins to play. The hearse arrives. The tiny coffin provokes more tears. The priest’s wand cries holy water. And the stuffed toy horse slouches atop the little casket.

The mother and the father stand near, exuding both courage and anguish.

The barista prays for sustainable strength for the affected parents. He prays for protection and peace for their families. He prays for the change that will thwart this disturbing trend that has taken hold of America.

In Loving Memory of Jessica Adrienne Rekos. May she ride a horse into heaven.

Rich & Krista have now established the "Jessica Rekos Memorial Fund." Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo location, and will be used towards a riding camp/scholarship at Jessica's barn, as well as other projects in her memory. Your contributions to this great cause would be greatly appreciated by the Rekos family. Thanks for your support.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Teasing the Anti-Christ

“As your lawyer, I advise you to chug a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster!”
Last month saw the return of the Fells Fun Festival to the neighborhood. The event not only aligned with Orioles Magic, but also with surprise guests at le Harbor Bungalow Café. The barista turned to face the counter as he steamed some milk.

“P3PO!! Welcome back, broseph!!”


“Not really. Would’ve been more surprised if you didn’t hitch a ride with mom and dad and sacrificed this booze-fest.”

Brother-of-barista was unemployed and searching for work. He recently earned his law degree, but the results of his BAR exam were still being processed leaving him in a state of limbo.  Mother- and father-of barista followed the barista’s brother in the door.  After exchanging pleasantries they sat at the bar.

“How was the drive down?”

“The drive was fine,” mother-of-barista said. “Parking was the tricky part.” Parents-of-the-barista live 80 minutes via automobile north of the Big Crabcake, in the same house—the Old Creek Home—where the barista came of age.

“Welcome to the city. You see why I choose not to drive.”

“Quit the small talk and bring a cherry and cheese danish this way,” father-of-barista said.

“I thought you were on a diet.”

“I’ll start it again in January.”

“Whatever you say. Here meet Shelly, le café’s new owner.”

As the barista dug around in the pastry case, Shelly and parents-of-the-barista talked about how the barista is great a person.  On this day in particular he was great, as he easily could have succumbed to his hangover from the previous night’s celebration.  The hometown baseball club won their first playoff game in 15 years. The barista believed the victory was due in part to he and his friends’ enthusiasm and insistence of doing a shot for every play that went the Orioles way. Yuengling, Jack and Jose kept the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers at bay.

But if the flattery inflated the barista’s ego, it was only temporary.

“We have some mail for you.” Mother-of-barista passed an envelope across the bar.

“Uh, oh.” The barista immediately identified the source of the letter. “I’ve been waiting months for this response. I self-addressed the return envelope to you in case I didn’t renew my lease over the summer.”

“What is it?” Shelly asked.

“I submitted a story to Sun Magazine for publication. This is the moment of truth.” The barista imagined opening this letter in the privacy of his own apartment, but everyone was anxious to hear the news, so the barista ripped open the envelope and began to paraphrase the letter aloud.

“Thanks…we’re sorry to say that your story is not right for The Sun…this isn’t a reflection on your writing…process is highly subjective…we wish you the best…yada, yada…Clark, I think it’s time for that Gargle Blaster.”

As the barista decides whether to submit his story elsewhere, he would like to tease the opening excerpt for those café patrons who did not read an earlier version last December. Without further adieu, Le Harbor Bungalow Café is proud to present

Laughing About the Anti-Christ
…and other gap-bridging techniques of a self-appointed ambassador between cultures

“Teacher, you know the AntiChrist?”
            An awkward silence came over the sidewalk café.
            “No, Ali.  I don’t know the AntiChrist.  Why?  Would you like to meet him tonight?”  I laughed, trying to lighten the mood.  My students giggled, too.  Was Ali implicating me—calling me out as an antichrist?
There I sat in Rabat—Morocco’s capital city—between sips of espresso discussing the Antichrist with a group of about ten curious Moroccan English language students.  Understanding between us was not a given, it was a challenge.  The sunny, cloudless spring day was a Monday, so we met outside on the patio of a local café.  Across the round, white, wrought iron table sat Ali.  Likely he was asking whether I was familiar with the story about the second coming of Jesus, who is supposed to lead an end-of-times battle against the evil Antichrist as preached by the prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, and as mentioned in the final book of the Christian Bible, Revelation.  But I also knew Ali was bright and somewhat mischievous.  Had I somehow insulted him?
A native of Rabat, the 24-year old was more interested in slang and clever dialogue than proper grammar.  Shorty’s got bahdenkedank!” he was keen to exclaim.  Ali gleaned much of his English from trendy American movies and music as well as through written correspondence on the online social networking pages of his American acquaintances.   This learning technique was common among my Moroccan students.  Loose-lipped and short, Ali mixed a manner that was part attempting to keep up with his peers and part trying to take the lead in conversation.  Here Ali had the lead, on a topic he was well versed.
“Yes, I am aware of the Biblical story of how the Antichrist fools good people into worshiping him.   But I understand the story as a metaphor,” I tell my class, hoping to segue into a comparison technique lesson. “Do you think a large bank could be the Antichrist, by deceiving good people into worshiping its money?” 
Months earlier I would have avoided such verbal sparring sessions faster than you could say salamu alaykum.  But two years later, in my Baltimore apartment, burning incense from Jemaa el Fna, I wonder if I was being paternalistic—by challenging their religious beliefs and attempting to expand their minds.  My main reason in traveling to Morocco had been just that:  to expand my mind.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Re-creating Paradise

“Well I haven’t seen you in a while.”

Andrea is the sushi chef at a quaint little Scotch bar three doors down from le Harbor Bungalow Café.  The hangout does not serve food every night of the week, but every Wednesday Andrea starts rolling at 6 o’clock.  Before she punches the clock, Andrea stops by for a large coffee—dark roast.

“I kinda miss working Wednesday nights,” the barista said as the coffee carafe he was pumping coughed in his face. “That writing class I took last fall set me on a routine where I get hump day off.”

“No class this year?”

“I’m doing an independent study,” he said with a grin as he grinded more coffee beans. “Reviewing my creative nonfiction notes from Towson, continuing the blog and reading required texts for students at Naropa.”

“Ahhh…Colorado.” Andrea said as she paid for her coffee.

“Yeah, wonderful country,” responded the barista. “A couple of my college buddies have settled that way over the past decade. If they had it their way I would move there, find a band and contribute to their debauchery.”

“Why don’t you?”

“Well, it’s so far from where I grew up. And I should be around for such transitory events: weddings, funerals, parents becoming grandparents, brothers becoming fathers and lawyers…and myself acquiring a sister and a nephew.”

“Of course.”

“Remember, I lived out in California for ten years. Didn't get back much.”

“That’s right.”

“I’m in a different phase now—which is not to say I’m not tempted!”

Andrea laughed.  “Well, it’s about time to put on the rice. You should come by for sushi.”

The barista rates Andrea’s sushi the best in the neighborhood.  He also agrees that scotch is a superior pairing over sake.  And with the warm fireplace in the back…

“You know, tonight might be the night.”

Andrea closed the café door behind her and a burst of cold air invaded the warm café.  The wind smacked the barista in the face. He began to daydream as he tended to the espresso machine.  He thought of the creative nonfiction writing class he aced last fall.  He thought about hiking downtown with his Splaff backpack tight around his shoulders.  He remembered how he would hop the public bus north of the city and finish his assignments on the stop-and-go drive up York Road to Towson.  He remembered how without that class le Harbor Bungalow Café would not exist.  And then he thought of the topic of his first major assignment. The topic in many ways paralleled the Colorado lifestyle his friends were living. What was so important that he needed to write about?  What did he feel the need to record so that he would never forget?  More importantly, can he ever re-create it within a closer proximity to his family? 

Excerpt from The Dolphin & the Mountain:

Many people think of San Francisco as Northern California.  But five-and-a-half automobile-hours beyond the Golden Gate Bridge is a town…a region…an expanse of country in that very same state of the Union that pushes San Francisco further south with each wind along the mountainous interstate pass.
The region is home to the kind of real estate to make a Monopoly game board envious: Lake Shasta, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake, Castle Crags, the Pacific Crest Trail, the headwaters of the Sacramento River, the McCloud River (and falls…all three of them), the Eddys, Black Butte, Mt. Lassen, Glass Mountain, the Righteous Hole, Panther Meadows, Thumb Rock, dozens of pristine, isolated, see clear to your toes alpine lakes, five glaciers and enough trees and rivers to make logging and bottled water companies filthy rich.  Skiers and snowboarders breed in the hills and compete in national championships and EuroCups.  Black bear and cougar not only reign at the top of the wildlife food chain, they serve the local, rival high schools as mascots.  In the center of it all, geographically and emotionally, is a revered and worshiped snow-covered mass of volcanic rock visible over 50 miles away in every direction, Mt. Shasta.
Inherently, Mt. Shasta moves. The Mountain’s sheer mass stands heavy and accountable, guilty as an accomplice in shifting the earth’s plates at speeds beyond human perception.  Boiling springs curiously adventure deep within the volcano’s caverns, carving the Mountain from within.  Water bubbles emerge from dark to light, grow and pop.  Evidence.  Steam meets the brisk outdoor air.  More evidence. 
Yet Mt. Shasta has no need to move.  Glaciers meditate in the Mountain’s saddles, ebbing and flowing inordinately slow.  Adorning Ponderosas, pines and firs stretch their green needles in the high wind, tightening their grip into the soil and rock.  Clouds and shadows and snow gravitate—float, creep and fall.  Human perception awakens, as the Mountain offers a different face.  In fact, the Mountain’s face changes as often as the human face changes.  Like the moon to the earth and like many beings before me, I also gravitated toward the Mountain.  I needed to climb it—to the top.  I needed the Mountain to move me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Visiting the Oracle

“So Shelly, you won’t be able to reach me for a few days,” said the barista as he placed a bagel breakfast sandwich on the Panini press.  “I’m going back to Shenandoah.”

Change was in the air.  Summer slowly was turning into autumn.  Our barista had hired a new barista who picked up one of his shifts at the café this week.  The Dolphin had a new, safe parking spot with a newer pearly white rear door.  As the events unfolded, the decision made itself.

“Cool! Who you going with?” Shelly asked. 

It was a busy morning at le café: three employees behind the bar and patrons filled the four tables against the wall opposite the coffee bar.  These patrons were eating, waiting to eat while sipping their coffee or behind a laptop computer trying hard not to be distracted by the conversation about to take place. 


“Really?  Do you want one of my dogs?  Do you have a gun?”

“No, no…I’ve done this before. I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? How will you protect yourself?”

“I have a hunting knife, some pepper spray…oh, and my redwood staff.”

“Isn’t that where you saw three bears?” Monroe interjected as she pulled shots of espresso.


“You should take my gun,” Shelly pleaded.

“This is the second time I heard you try to pawn off that gun,” said a voice from behind a laptop.

“I’m not taking it,” said the barista. “Bears like me. I’m one of them.”

“What will you do there?” asked the patron who ordered the bacon, egg and cheese bagel—which now rests on his plate, cheese melted in front of him.  The cheese was smoked Gouda—a favorite of both Shelly and the barista.

“Read, write, hike…pick the guitar…speak with the oracle.”

“That means smoke a lot of pot,” Shelly said as she motioned her fingers to her mouth as if she were inhaling a joint.

“No, no,” said the barista. “I have prepared some questions for her.  I will look for her under the waterfall where I plan to swim.”

“Are you shittin’ me,” the patron asked.

“Yeah,” the barista said.  Although he really wasn’t.


Who has a couch in their car, but not in their apartment? The barista, of course. He pondered this idea as he lay stretched on the Dolphin’s foldout couch in Shenandoah the next morning, a stone’s throw from the Appalachian Trail.  The air was at least ten degrees cooler in the mountains than the city.  A gentle breeze penetrated the camper and was a treat for him to breathe in deeply.  As his seven spice chai tea steamed before him (nine spices if honey and whiskey are to be counted), the barista picked up his acoustic bass guitar and played the following set of original songs:

Music Spell
Cupid Blues
Purgin’ the Blues
Burlesque Pirate
Grass-Stained Heart
Stinky Joe

Three little birds jumped and chirped outside the Dolphin’s screen door as he finished playing and singing.  A joyful smile crossed the barista’s unshaven face.

Mid-morning he arrived at the park ranger station to look for maps and acquire a stamp for his national parks passport. He bellied up to the counter.

“I’m looking for a nice, quiet swimming hole,” the barista said.

“Well, we don’t call them swimming holes,” the thick-moustached ranger said. “But there are places to get your feet wet.”  His last sentence might as well been accompanied with a wink.

The barista was in luck.

The ranger highlighted a circular hiking route on the barista’s map, and then marked an X in at least six spots along the way for the barista to cool off in the mountain water.  

Near one of them may be the oracle, he thought. 


The heat of the sun warmed the cool mountain air.  Each step along the trail warmed the barista from the inside, forcing a mild sweat.  In his backpack was a water bottle, at least three different granola bars, a pita loaded with hummus, tomato and fresh basil, a hand towel, a long sleeve shirt, a notebook, pen, lighter, pepper spray and homemade popcorn.  He could not find his hunting knife, but carried his redwood staff as a cane.  If his mountain boots and beach shorts clashed, it could be argued that his blue bandana and sporty shades tied his attire back together. He practiced pranayama yoga breathing with each step: Inhale, pause…inhale, pause…inhale, pause…exhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale.

Back in the Dolphin laid two books the barista was reading at the time: There is a River: A Biography of Edgar Cayce and Visions and Prophecies, from the Time-Life volume Mysteries of the Unknown. Ideas of a sixth sense fascinate the barista.  For the past decade he held a preference for working in, rather than working out.  Does he hold the potential to travel through time in his dreams, as Edgar Cayce did? 

The barista wondered as he wandered.  After two or three miles along the circuit hike, the barista noticed a stream paralleled the trail. It flowed in the same direction he walked—southeast at the time. Small pools accumulated water, but not nearly enough to swim. He stopped, sat on a log and watched the water. He wiped his forehead with his towel. He drank some water from his bottle. He snacked on the pita and polished the meal off with some popcorn.  He then stretched and coaxed his body off the log with his redwood staff and began to walk again. 

One of the moustached forest ranger’s X’s was about to mark the spot: Rose Hill Falls.  The barista came upon the falls from the top.  The stream cascaded down about ten or fifteen feet into a pool of water nearly six feet deep and twenty in circumference. The trail started down into the gorge, but about halfway from the water it returned back up. The barista continued down the slope. When he reached the bank he rock-hopped between the pool and a second, smaller cascade. He set his pack on a boulder on the opposite bank from which he came and took a deep breath.

Like much of Shenandoah, Rose Hill Falls was calendar-worthy. The barista surveyed the scene. Splashing water dominated the soundscape.  With few hikers on the trail, peace and privacy prevailed. The sun peaked through the trees, though most of the scene was shaded. He found a pebble and tossed it into what he hoped was the deepest part of the pool. It slowly fell far enough to where the barista deemed it safe. Small, finger-length fish moved about. No sight of snakes or other unwanted creatures in the pool. He temporarily relieved his boots, bandana, sunglasses and shirt of their duties and placed them by his bag on the boulder.  Squatting on a rock next to the pool the barista slipped into the water feet first.

So determined the barista was to soak in the mountain water, he never thought to check the temperature with his fingers, or feet.  An intense chill shot up his spine and across his scalp as he submerged completely. The waterfall was muffled. Adrenaline rushed through his veins.  His gasped as he returned to the water’s surface.

“Woo!!! That’s friggin’ co-old.”

The barista stood in the pool and the water reached just under his arms. He kicked his feet up and began to float as his breath slowed to a more relaxed pace. The jolt connected him with the mountain. He was enveloped and remained in the pool undisturbed for about ten minutes.

Climbing out of the pool, the barista sat on the sun-soaked boulder and dried his face with his towel. He could feel the cells in his body vibrate from the effects of the frigid water. His mind was clear, nearly free of thought. That was until he thought about the oracle.

The barista knew a traditional oracle is a person who can verbally answer questions posed in a “yes-no” manner. He also knew that he was the only person at Rose Hill Falls at that moment. What he didn’t know was if any souls happen to be floating about and if they could play the role of an oracle. Sitting with his legs crossed and his eyes closed he began to throw out questions to the universe.

Was it a good idea to come here?


Am I on the right path?


Should I continue to dream of owning a cabin in the woods?


Should I act on that dream soon?


A hesitation in the last answer gave the barista a reason to pause. He tried his best to clear his mind and pose the next question that popped in his head.

Should I have stayed with the cinnamon girl?


Am I meant to have a womanly companion?


Is it someone I have already met?

Silence. The barista wondered if his allotted number of questions were up.

Am I to have a child?

More silence. The barista asked one final question before resting.

Did the thief who broke into the Dolphin last month rip off my hunting knife?



The third sunrise gave the barista notice that his time in Shenandoah was nearly up. He begrudgingly returned power to his reception-less mobile phone to acquire the knowledge of time. In Visions and Prophecies the barista read:

Albert Einstein showed that past, present and future need have no fixed status. In theory, at least, it is possible to perceive them in varying order—future before present, for instance (p. 9).

He brewed some chai tea for the road, tightly secured the items in his camper, rolled down the windows and blazed down Skyline Drive.

The trip to the mountains refreshed the barista, but he certainly was not ready to leave. But le café beckoned. Routine beckoned. He took comfort in the thought that his routine was less routine than the average person’s routine, without trying to prove it.

Returning to his couch-less apartment less than an hour before his afternoon shift he packed his bag for work. He dug up a tape measure so he and Shelly could rearrange the machines behind le café bar. While digging through his toolbox the barista was taken aback. Staring him in the face was his lost hunting knife.