They make a hell of a cappuccino, but I get the drip coffee. I can't stand to sit while the barista talks visas with the plump Brazilian, her conversation taking precedence over my nearly $5 drink. I get the drip.
Which is why it is surprising that I see her there so often; the window is so small.
Sometimes she, too, buys a drip coffee. But she always buys Diet Cokes.
"Two of these, please." Her hands are spindly and unsteady. They stutter in her satchel for money she knew she'd need.
"Just two today? Not three." The young man's voice behind the counter was playful, teasing, as if was her big brother.
"Just two." She said it to him by barely cracking her mouth, but her eyes were a flurry. "Just these."
"No coffee?" He kept on.
She's so small. Her elbow-length, nubby, fingerless knit gloves slide around straw arms. She could walk further, to a groceria or a corner store, but it's so cold.
The time before she hoisted three cans of sweaty, silver Diet Coke on the counter and began rolling dollar bills out of her pockets.
"All three of these?" The young woman behind the counter said it so innocently. "Together that will be $4.50."
Every one in the shop knew that was a ludicrous price to pay for three cans of Diet Coke, chilled or not. Close or not.
The tiny woman slid soft, frayed money across the counter, pushing the bills into the condensation made on the counter by the cans of diet soda.
She tipped loudly with the change made.