By Patrick Alcatraz
SAN JUAN, Texas - I don't have an addictive personality. Things come and go with me, some quite quickly, and I'm fine with it. My feeling is things end so that others can begin. There have been times when I wished for a stronger connection to my human brethren, although, yeah, there are those other times when people let you down to the point of give-up. Yet, even with the struggle that is living in these times of bullshit, I do allow for some loyalty. Coffee is my mistress. It has me by the neck. I cannot begin a day without my black coffee. Sometimes, I end it with a cup or two. I don't think I'm the only one. Coffee has a killer stranglehold on this country. Just count the number of Starbucks stores in your town. And if you don't see one, well, just take to the highway. You'll see the familiar green signpost just off to the side, there mostly at the head of some humble strip mall, but there just the same.
There are many, many problems in today's world, even here in the so-called most civilized country. Americans are suffering the nation's bad economy. Marriages are breaking apart under the weight of steep debt or unemployment. Communities are cutting back on services. States are not dreaming. The federal government is whipping things around with the hope that something will spark things up once again.
At the local Starbucks, where I hang out most mornings, the usual cast of characters keeps coming. Some guy in a suit with his laptop computer over by the window. Six cops sipping as if dog-tired Geriatric Ward nurses. Elderly women chatting up scandals at the local sewing club over on the easy chairs. Others, alone and with friends, chirp away, like crickets brave enough to whisper something's happening to this once-great land.
I read the day's newspapers, finish my cup, and leave with a to-go cup for the road.
All is frickin' well in my world...
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