There are certain people in my life that upon meeting I just think “You are something special.”. In some cases it’s attraction on a romantic level, but in most cases, it’s just plain interest. It can happen with anyone to be honest. I have it with people on the street that I only glance at for the briefest of moments. But this moment induces some sort of alertness in me, and I end up wondering about that person. I don’t wonder about a lot of people. I know people want to believe I do, but I don’t. I’d rather not think about you unless you choose to share whatever’s going on with your life to me properly. Otherwise…I tend to live in my mind by my own accord.
Bob the Barista is just plain interest. Bob the Barista has worked at the same Starbucks since what feels like forever now (perhaps longer than five years). I’m interested in him. Perhaps it’s because he’s acquired a hipster beard since before it became trendy or perhaps it’s because he’s worked there long enough to finally catch my eye. Either way, Bob exists in my mind and I’m not sure why.
Bob the Barista is a poet. Bob also has a real name, but I don’t care to know it. Once I nickname people it’s really hard for them to break out of that namesake. I number people too, but maybe that will come up another time. Bob is an art student. Bob has a girlfriend who sports a short bob, coincidentally. Bob is in his late-twenties and knows how I like my name spelt. Aside from that, Bob really knows nothing about me.
Or so I think. He’s almost always there for mine and Heather’s Starbucks dates and is always seen in the background wiping down tables or helping other customers. He can be compared to a extra in a sitcom. Just there for the movements in the background. But it wouldn’t exactly surprise me if he knew details about me because of it. We’re loud enough, and we visit often. At the very least Bob knows my name.
I wonder about Bob. I’m not so sure what poets do exactly. I figure they sit on windowsills and stare out into the rain with a pad and pen I suppose. Yeah, that seems…poetic. I know the rain puts me in one of those moods. Heather says I’m not allowed to strike up a conversation with him because she thinks “it’s wierd”. I don’t think she realizes how hard that is to refrain from that exactly, especially considering what I know about him. I just want to be able to walk into my favourite Starbucks and say “Hey Bob, what’s up?” And he’ll reply with something fitting and ask me if I want my usual.
I think every customer deserves that bond with their favourite barista.
Maybe then I’d use his real name. It’s hard to say. What gets me about this the most is that Bob doesn’t realize that there’s an interest in Bob. He probably just goes about his life attending poetry slams with his soccer mom girlfriend.
So here’s to the Starbucks barista who doesn’t realize he exists–Bob the Barista.
Who is Bob the Barista? And what kind of life does he live exactly?