The last two months have been CRAZY.
Not that I didn’t think this place was off the minute I walked in. I mean, my boss is an all knowing bald eagle, but there’s so much more where that came from.
My first day at work, I met a kpop idol. Now I’m not into kpop or anything, like I know TBS, wait maybe it was STB? Anyways, it doesn't matter. The point is, it should've been a good experience.
But instead of speaking to Coco-chan, dubbed “The Nations Poster Child”, I got paged by his mother for messing up her order of non fat, no dairy, no meat, vegan, extra cream, extra egg, gluten free, oat milk matcha latte with extra foam and a frog design at a 45 degree angle on top. I memorized the full order out of fear that she’d show up again on one of my shifts. I shuddered at the thought.
Although, she did leave a nice tip.
I thought getting yelled at by a super celebrity’s mother on my first day might’ve just been a once in a lifetime event. You know, maybe things would just become normal after that.
I forgot where I was working.
Later that day, some girl started screaming out of nowhere. I get that the start of the school year can be stressful, but she was definitely going through...something else. When I gave her a glass of water, she asked me if I was sure my name was Tristan, then she mentioned some dude named Trevor. Is that, like, a trick question? Is this another interview test set up by Scanta? Maybe I’m getting tested by a higher power or organization. Woah, maybe that girl was like an agent or something. But she didn’t look like a spy. Maybe that’s what they want me to think. Wait, is my name really Tristan? At this point, I don’t even know anymore.
“Stop zoning out Tristan. There’s an order of black coffee for table three.”
I snapped out of my delusional rambling and realized my other coworker had decided to once again, not show up to work.
“Where’s Wabong?” I asked, impatiently as ever.
“Oh, isn’t THAT a question I’d like the answer to,” said Scanta, giving an exasperated chuckle.
The only other time I had seen the guy was when some unassuming looking girl started harassing him for info on what Coco-chan ordered. I wasn’t about to endanger my own life, so I just took my break early.
“Wait, where’s Ben? Isn’t he on shift today?” I asked Scanta.
“Oh, he broke the ice cream machine,” he responded casually, “So he got kicked out again.”
Again? Before I could respond, he continued. “Oh don’t worry, he’ll be back,” Scanta said, rolling his eyes. “I’m checking out now. Bye.” I waved as he exited.
“This is your café??? Why are you leaving???”
He was already out the door.
Not all days were as chaotic as the first. Days like today were suspiciously peaceful. But then again, as strange as ever.
I glanced over at table three where Anastasia was sitting. She was pretty interesting, kind of like an old timey detective with her signature beige trenchcoat, black fedora, and dramatic way of speaking. Her assistant joined her every once in a while to talk about mysteries and cases. One time he started shaking, talking about some robber that I think ended up being a raccoon or something.
Speaking of which, I saw the most horrifying thing the other day, so I sort of understood where the assistant was coming from.
I decided to show up a little early for my shift last Saturday like a responsible employee. Apparently I didn't learn my lesson the first time.
I walked past the bald eagle crouched down in the alley beside the café. He was speaking to a raccoon like they were conducting some business deal. I swear he gave me a look. The raccoon I mean.
Everyday I lose a little piece of myself at this job.
I watched as Anastasia inspected the coffee with pH strips, then chugged it like it was a glass of room temperature water.
Scanta - I mean, the bald eagle - walked back into the café and flashed me a grin. Uh oh.
“Hey Tristan, special order for a very, very important customer,” he said with an unusually serious tone. “Triple chocolate milkshake with extra sugar, melted cotton candy, heart sprinkles, caramel drizzle and cotton candy whipped cream on top please. Ooo, put some ice cream on it too maybe.”
I sighed, it must be for one of the hyper kids that come into the café. There was one who went around with his friends talking about baking guns and sharing guns. It’s unfortunate how young kids are learning about these things nowadays.
I didn’t notice any children in the café today, though. I finished the milkshake with a dash of sprinkles on top and watched as Scanta grabbed a squiggly straw and took a big sip while walking back to his office. Goddammit.
Anastasia seemed to notice that whole interaction, but said nothing. I’m sure Scanta was a mystery that no one in the entire world could solve.
Afterall, the man used the café to throw raves with a live DJ... who was unexpectedly good? Not quite sure what or how or why, but there was definitely something about it. DJ McDizzle’s onstage persona was wildly different from his everyday demeanour, though. Again, I didn’t question any of that. I’m no detective.
On another day - one of the days it was super busy - a couple came in with their daughter and let her run around while they argued the entire time about kitchen appliances. I’d seen the woman in the café before, and she seemed very professional. Her family was obviously a different story. At least the husband was nice: he tipped me extra.
But after all of that, I still hadn’t seen that pretty girl again. I sighed and slumped on the counter at the thought.
Just then, the front door opened letting in a gust of wind. A figure wearing a red hoodie stood in the frame, as if to make a grand entrance.
Scanta had come by the front counter to drop off the empty milkshake glass. He turned to see who had come in and opened his arms wide in a welcome.
“If it isn’t the man himself!” he beamed.
“Yep. It’s me, the man himself,” the figure replied.
Oh, there’s Wabong.