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“If I never see another half caff, soy milk, sugar free vanilla latte again, it will be too soon.” I grumbled and popped a lid on top of the paper coffee cup in front of me. Suck it up Rose. You’ve got twelve more hours of this. I turned the coffee cup to read the name scrawled on the side.
“Uh, Thor?” I yelled over the din of the tightly packed crowd. A stocky guy, dressed in an ill fitting comic hero costume barged forward. His stubby fingers made grabby hands as he elbowed through the crowd to claim his order. He snatched it from me, causing hot coffee to spill out of the lid and onto my hand.
“Have a great day!” I said, forcing a smile even as I rubbed the burn. Asshole.
I grabbed the next cup and shouted the name.
Another cos-player, dressed as a mythical hero strode towards me to retrieve his coffee. Black, no sugar. Now this guy knew how to work a costume. Tall, pale and handsome with a dark cloak that swept behind him dramatically as he walked, I recognized his character at once. I also recognized an opportunity. Trickster God of Asgard indeed.
“My Lord!” I greeted him.
He raised an eyebrow.
“Your nemesis, your brother – he went that way.” I thumbed towards the side door.
“He’s drinking a soy vanilla latte.” I whispered conspiratorially and waggled my eyebrows. The cos-player tipped his considerable head gear towards me in thanks, grinning in anticipation of what promised to be an exciting confrontation.
Shame to miss the fun. I thought, amused at the idea of a superhero battle instigated by conflicting tastes in caffeinated beverages. But this throng of customers wasn’t going to serve itself. I kicked into auto pilot. Read names on cups, hand cups to customers, repeat. I was bound to be at this for a while. New York Sci-Fi and Comic Convention was on it’s first day of a three day weekend of all things geeky and awesome. As a die hard geek, I would’ve preferred to be spending the weekend at the con myself. Unfortunately, spending money on collectibles and comics is not a good financial strategy when one is drowning in debt. Four years of higher education got me a degree in English Lit, a gazillion dollars in student loans and a job managing a coffee shop. There were bills to pay, hence I would be working the whole weekend, double shifts. The stench of a thousand geeks sweating through polyester costumes as they chain-drank cups of overpriced coffee would be my only exposure to the fun.
Read names on cups, hand cups to customers, try not to die of soul-crushing monotony…repeat. I raised two fingers to my temple and mimed shooting myself in the head. This was going to be a long day.