The coffee drink of the day is called the Prophet. To help launch the new Prophet drink, which has caramel in it, as best as we can tell, with milk and espresso, whipped cream, and a few other essential ingredients, a man—apparently “the prophet,” sent in from corporate, dressed in a polo shirt emblazoned with the logo from the coffee shop—gets up on a crate at the front of the long line and says, “My, God, what is she doing?” He’s pointing at a young woman reading a book at one of the round tables.
“Where is her power cord, her trackpad? Don’t you just want to swish her away? A book? Really? What next, her collection of compact discs? Huh? Am I right?”
A couple of those standing near the pastry case look up from their smart phones and say, “What is he talking about?”
“He’s talking about the truth,” some of the early converts around us are already saying. ”Obviously this drink is very forward-looking.”
“Look at her!” the prophet continues. “Just look at her!”
We look at her. She seems to be really into her book. She doesn’t even know that we’re talking about her. She’s a young woman, plain-looking, a ginger, with the tip of her nose burned red.
“Don’t you see?” the prophet says. “A book first and then what? A Walkman AM/FM cassette player? A cabinet radio the size of a piano?”
“Or one of those old school phones,” one of the customers yells out. “The kind where you have to spin the numbers!” The people cheer.
“Yes!” the prophet says. “A rotary phone, and then what?”
“Her grandma’s cinnamon rolls,” I yell out only half-jokingly, but they like that. They think I’m being serious. They cheer for me, too. And then I get to the front of the line and order a Prophet.
“Thank you, brother,” the prophet says, shaking my hand between both of his. “You won’t regret it.”
“What size do you want?” the barista says.
“Large. Make it a large Prophet. Without whip,” I say, and the barista says, “Do you want whip with that?” Again I say, “Without whip,” and she says, “Okay, so you don’t want whip with that. Is that correct?”