Today at Starbucks I'm working, making drinks, making small talk with customers, doing what I'm paid to do. It's a bit busy but no big deal.
There are these two girls who have started coming in. A white girl and an asian girl. They seem nice. Both studying to be, well, I don't know the official scientific term, but basically foot surgeons. Apparently they've asked about me when I wasn't around, and now I get teased by my fellow co-workers when they come in. I'm not interested in either of them, but it's nice to know there are people out there in the world who find me desirable.
The two girls in question came in, and of course I make small talk (which is how I learned about their studies and their intended career). When their backs are turned my manager Danny teases me a bit, all in good nature, and I'm feeling pretty cool.
Feeling cool is always what leads me into trouble because I am never, in no way, cool.
Later, still feeling cool, a man, say in his mid-thirties walks in, a professional look about him even though he's wearing a Superman t-shirt. Of course, being the comic book dork I am, I talk up a bit about superman, and we this man says that a few years ago he dressed up as Clark Kent for Halloween.
Anyway, a bit later I catch him reading what I think is a Justice League comic, mostly because it has Superman on the cover.
Ok, in reality, maybe an hour total has passed since the girls walked in and then this fellow with the superman shirt. I punch out to leave and the man with the Superman shirt asks if I'm the manager. I'm not the manager but maybe I can help him. He asks an innocuous question about the furniture but there really isn't anything we can do to help because we get all the furniture from Starbucks corporate and know nothing about it.
Then I ask him about the comic book, which turns out to be the Justice Society, not Justice League. Those of you not into comics are probably thinking, who cares, right? Well, no one really cares. I tell him the only reason I asked was I wanted to know what he might have thought about the new Justice League writer. He didn't really answer but said that the Justice Society comic was good. I responded that the writer of the Justice Society, Geoff Johns, never really thrilled me. I liked his run on the Flash, but outside the Flash it was just ok and I didn't think I was going to pick it up.
What's the big deal with all of this? I felt cool so I engaged a customer after I was off the clock. Had I not felt cool I probably would have directed his question to someone still on the clock and made my exit. The cooler I feel the more likely I'm to interact with strangers.
I came home and something about the whole exchange niggled me in the back of the head. Not so much a voice, but a general uneasiness, which kept biting the corner of all my thoughts. I decide, because this is how fate works, to look Geoff Johns up on the internet.
I've never seen Geoff John in person or in any photograph before today, but after seeing his image just a few moments ago on the internet, I'm about 85 percent sure that the man I spoke with at Starbucks was Geoff Johns himself, and I told him I wasn't thrilled by his writing. First off, as a writer I know how much that really sucks. Secondly, I would love to write comic books someday. And if it was Geoff Johns (which I'm now pretty sure he was), he'd be an amazing contact to have. I can't imagine, in my stupid, look how cool I am fanboy mode, I gave a good first impression. "Hey, yeah, remember me? I'm the idiot barista who said you weren't such a good writer to your face. How'd you like to help get me a job?" I don't think that will go over very well.
Next time I just have to remember that I'm not cool and to keep my big mouth shut. Or at least ask for a name first.
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