April 29, 2010
I have always considered myself a temporary person. I never expected to settle into a day to day routine. I don’t know how I expected to accomplish a whole life of not seeing the same people: their names and faces. I don’t know if it is possible to live a whole life without the routine of people and becoming close to them. But I never saw myself as someone that people would get attached to and I attached to them.
Call it low self esteem, call it self pity, call it what you will – but I have never found myself to be memorable to other people. I feel like I have been easily replaced or disregarded by people. I think I am worthy of being remembered, but I just haven’t seen it outside of a few occasions that people do remember me. And it surprises me everyday, but I have found people who remember me. And I think tomorrow’s goodbye will be an emotional one.
It sounds weird, but I hope that it pains for a time on both sides of the goodbye. I know it will pain me. It will pain me more than I would like to admit. I have an excellent memory and I remember people. And I remember the small moments and details. Even if I think the people won’t remember me, I cannot shake remembering them. So, I know it will be hard for me to say goodbye. I hope it is for them as well.
These people have become apart of my daily life. Every weekday I wake-up and I think of them. Every weekday I wake-up and I think, “What am I going to say to them today?” I wonder about what I’m going to say, which has a lot to do with how I feel. If they thought about it, these people know me. They know how I’m feeling by what I say each morning and in that way they have been closer to me these past months than most people will every be. That is why this will be so difficult.
I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but it is a big deal. Imagine knowing that this person or people will be apart of every morning of yours 5 days a week and suddenly it won’t happen anymore. It is tough. I’m going to say “forever”, but there is always a chance we could be apart of a morning or maybe an afternoon together again. But most likely not, so I will use “forever”.
Tomorrow morning, I will be saying goodbye forever to…
The staff of the Dunkin’ Donuts in Kenilworth, New Jersey.
AAAAAHHHHHHH… Oh God! How will I go on!?! How will my life hold any meaning with them not serving me coffee each weekday morning!?! I feel like I’m being torn apart by a circus of razorblade carrying raccoons! It hurts so much. Why does it hurt so much? How could I have become so attached to their smiling donut selling faces? AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
I’m sure in some crazy way, you all think that this post is a metaphor about you and this website. Sadly, you motherfuckers I’m planning on seeing next week. But these Dunkin’ Donuts people I won’t. I’m not driving a half hour to get coffee and a donut. So with that – I present you with this song:
Yes, it pains me dearly. Tomorrow is my last day of work. I will not go as far as to actually name the company that I work for. I’ll give you a hint though. Find a map of Kenilworth, NJ. Now find all the $50 billion companies in Kenilworth, NJ. And from there, you will have to decide for yourself which one I work for. I know there are soooo many $50 billion companies in Kenilworth, NJ.
It all started when I moved to Jersey City from Hoboken. In essence, I moved like 2.5 miles or so, but it actually made a huge difference in my commute. I used to live on 12th & Willow in Hoboken. For people who do not know Hoboken, it is a very densely packed area of apartments and bars with tons of pedestrians and traffic. It took me awhile every morning to drive the 14 or so blocks south to get to the major roads to take to work. When I moved to Jersey City, I didn’t have to go so far to get to the major roads and it essentially took me at least 10 minutes less to get to work everyday.
I was comfortable with my morning wake-up time and 10 minutes isn’t dramatically more time to sleep, so I didn’t change my alarm time when I moved to Jersey City. This meant every morning I had an extra 10 minutes. The first couple mornings, I just showed up to work really early. The next couple after that, I tried eating breakfast at my apartment, but I felt rushed. I didn’t have a half hour. I only had 10 minutes, so I was shoveling cereal into my mouth at light speed. Then one morning I had an epiphany!
Fucking Dunkin’ fucking Do-motherfucking-nuts! I had been to that particular Dunkin’ Donuts a few times. Usually when there is a birthday, I go to the Dunkin’ Donuts and buy the “Box of Joe” and the variety box of a dozen donuts. Sometimes I would do this when it wasn’t anyone’s birthday. I’m a good guy like that. Also, it is fairly cheap for a ton of stuff – 12 donuts and more than 12 cups of coffee for about $17 I think. So I knew of the place and one morning I decided to go there for selfish reasons: I went to buy breakfast just for myself.
That was in June. It is now April and I’ve been going there ever since. Every morning for months, I go there and get my breakfast and take it to work and eat it at my desk. They started to remember me and recognize it when I would enter each morning. “Hello’s” became “How are you doing” and even escalated to at points “the usual?”. I have about three different orders at Dunkin’ Donuts and they know them:
– bacon, egg and cheese wrap
– bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel
– multigrain bagel with cream cheese
All of these are outfitted with a large coffee. As mentioned in a previous post, recently I have switched up on certain days to an iced coffee.
Most days I walk in and I get a hello and a how are you and even sometimes I’m called “boss”. Most days are good days. I walk in and before I even get the words passed my lips they say “large coffee – cream and sugar, right?” And I nod with a wink and a smile. Sometimes maybe a tip of an imaginary fedora I’m wearing, just to class the place up a bit. Maybe I’ll flip them a Kennedy half-dollar and say “if you make it snappy then there’ll be another one of those bad boys heading your way in the future.” Maybe that happens. Maybe it doesn’t. But most days are good days.
I won’t lie to you and say there are no bad days. There have been some bad days. I remember one morning I walked in and one of them, I won’t name names, took it upon themselves to make me a large coffee, but not a large ICED coffee. I wanted an iced coffee. When I reached the cash register, they presented me with the large hot coffee all pleased with themselves.
“Here is your coffee – large, cream and sugar. What would you like for break-
“What is this?” I retorted.
“Your coffee. Just the way you like it.”
“Not today it isn’t. Today I wanted an iced coffee. So, what is this shit?” That is when I back handed the cup spraying hot coffee like shotgun pellets all over them.
“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! IT BURNS!!!!!”
“You’re damn right it burns! An iced coffee wouldn’t burn! AN ICED COFFEE WOULDN’T BURN! If you were smart enough to wait for me to order a nicely chilled cup of coffee then your skin would be melting off your face. I guess you learned your lesson, right?”
“AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! WHY!!!!?????!!!! WHY DIDN’T I WAIT TO GET YOUR COFFEE ORDER!!!!????!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Now you’re making sense. I would like a bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel toasted. Could I get egg whites? And whenever you have the chance to make me an iced coffee that would be great.”
We have been through a lot together. We have been through the dog days of summer. We have been through feet of snow, ice storms, and torrential rain. We’ve had those few weeks when the left entrance door was broken and only the right door was available for use. Those were some trying times. And we’ve shared laughter and we’ve shared sorrow together and most importantly we’ve shared free donuts together (if you buy a large coffee you get a free donut).
I’m not the only one who goes there every morning at about the same time. I see a lot of the same faces from customers as well. There is the young lady with the long hair and glasses who drives I think an Acura SUV. She is cute and aggressively slender for a woman who eats Dunkin’ Donuts every morning. She is dressed up all corporate like, so she could work for the same company I do for all I know.
There is the bald old man who reads the newspaper. He orders his breakfast and eats it there. The armored car drivers from the near by bank who usually double/triple park their big ass van. There are the construction workers ordering a million different orders for all the million different guys at whatever construction site they work at. There is the middle aged woman who looks like she recently escaped from a mental institution every morning.
Some mornings there is a fellow in a suit and we usually exchange head nods like “Yo bro, we’re in suits.” Some mornings there are cute college coeds there. Some mornings there are hot young milfs who are a few years older than me with 3 or 4 year old kids that they are en route to drop off at school. I look at their hotness and then I get creeped out for a second or two because the kid is standing there looking back at me and then I remember I only have like 10 seconds before she leaves forever, so I go back to gawking at the young milf. Some mornings there are no attractive people there for miles and I wonder what happened – is there a slow leaking gas that has been set off by Cold War Russian communists in New Jersey that only kills good looking people and now me and the rest of the degenerates have to fend for ourselves in some odd post-apocalyptic society of unattractive people where we need to force ourselves to mate in hopes for a much better looking future generation.
In the end, what I’ll remember the most is that I enjoyed my morning routine seeing them and getting coffee from them.
Questions for Friday. Also, if you would like to guest post next week or in the coming weeks please email me. Don’t play coy and make me have to send you an email begging for you to guest post. Because I think we all know I’m stubborn and probably won’t make that first move.