Monday, February 10, 2003


I nearly freaked-out on a customer today. At first, I really liked the guy, because he said he didn't mind that there were fruit flies on our croissants; he had an iron-stomach, he said. He ordered a blueberry croissant, and I was impressed. He had nice, pretty eyes to look into. Then, he bagan talking to one of my co-workers, whose son is stationed in Kuwait. She opened up to him about her fears. Basically, he began lecturing her about the need to not appease Sadam Hussein, comparing him to Hitler. I couldn't help myself and I dove in. I said I felt there were many countries appeasing Bush. I asked him how he felt about the many thousands of innocent people who will be killed in a war over there. He said what about the thousands who were killed here during 9/11? I said to my knowledge, the Iraqis were not involved in that attack. He said, "I think they were". I didn't ask, "What is your proof?" because it seemed our conversation was drawing to a close. I said, "What we are doing will de-stabilize the entire region. Are you ready for World War III?" He laughed and said, "Bring it on". I said, "That isn't funny". I think his attitude was more bravado than anything, because after he sat for a while, eating his blueberry croissant, he brought us his dirty dish and said, "I will pray for your son", to my co-worker. He looked very serious and that war-spark in his eye was gone. I was a little depressed the rest of the shift, what with that encounter, my dream last night about the end of the world, and the general state of things. But then my friend, Rosebud, treated me kindly later, and we ate split-pea soup at Lebanon Cafe, and walked around the block to look at the New Orleans winter flowers in bloom, camelias and Japanese magnolias. The light was bright, but soft in many places, because it was late in the afternoon, and there were already long shadows. We marvelled at the old mansions and shot-gun houses of the Crescent City, and watched the birds drinking water from puddles left from the rain yesterday. I felt restored, and renewed in my faith and belief that to believe in peace is also to act peaceably, yet to also be strong and not back down when a pro-war viewpoint is being expressed. I hope that the customer learned something from me besides I'm never going in that bitches' coffeehouse again. I learned that I will be more careful in how I disagree with others, to try to not get carried away with the high emotions of this time, and be calm and explain and listen. I mean, I feel a little like being a stark, raving loonatic, and standing on a street corner, preaching against the war to any who will listen. But I don't think that will get me anywhere except possibly the ICU at Charity Hospital, and 24-hours observation under the watchful eye of a psych- tech.