I am not a morning person. Never was, never will be. That’s not to say that I haven’t tried. For years, I stumbled out of bed before the sun woke up — to get into the bathroom first; to swim (I was a competitive swimmer in my youth); to take the early classes; to get into work before the traffic got heavy. I went to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour to get at least eight hours of shut-eye. I did all those things to mesh with the rest of the world.
Luce stopped in later than usual. She looked worried, but she wouldn’t talk about it at the shop.
“Your dog’s sleeping in back,” I pointed my head toward the kitchen as I poured coffee. I didn’t want to have her thinking that I’d let one of her charges hang out on the street all night. It might only be late October, but the nights felt like November to me.
She slid around the counter and poked her nose in the kitchen, “Dolf! Such a good boy. You haven’t been making any trouble, have you?”
My home consists of four rooms above the coffee shop: kitchen, bedroom, bath and sitting room. The upstairs kitchen has a sink and clothes washer for appliances. It is where I store extra inventory and its table is my business office. The real kitchen is downstairs. From there I bake my muffins for the day and sometimes make sandwiches. I’ve gotten pretty good at muffins and am slowing expanding into sweet breads, but I’m no baker. Baking isn’t an elective in business school.
Later that afternoon, I shared the results of Officer Vinny’s investigation with Luce.
“Ernie’s right,” she said, checking the expiration dates on packages. “There’s something going on up there.”
“You went up again?” To my recollection, Luce had never been daring enough to brave the terrors of the old high school back in the day. She had been a good student and not that adventurous. Kind of opposite of how I spent my youth.
“I got a little closer. It’s definitely music and it’s coming from the gym.”
Choices, but none that I am in love with. I came upon this conundrum in the ordinary way: over commitment, under achievement. The usual stuff. On the corporate ladder looking at the glass ceiling one day, selling everything to open a coffee shop in a forgettable place the next.