Book #98

Garret writes: I went to a coffee shop to catch up on my writing and emails. I placed my order and the barista said, “I like strong coffee too.” That began a wonderful conversation about the inferior caffeine-voltage in American coffee versus European coffee; we talked for a while, and later on, when I was at my seat, she came up to me and said, “Can I show you something?”

At times like this, you never know what someone’s going to do. I empathized with how people must feel when I approach them to give away a drawing. She held up a shiny, ivory-white card with Thank You! on the front.

“We had a regular customer who used to come in here. He just passed away last week. He always brightened up our day. We were so sad when he left us. His wife just sent us this card, saying how much Chuck loved to come here—that it was his favorite spot—and how he appreciated everyone who worked here. It just warmed my heart so much I wanted to share it with you.”

A wave of gratitude washed over me, de-jittering my coffee buzz, and I sank into a soothing appreciation. I thanked her for feeling comfortable in opening her emotions to random stranger. We talked some more, and then, with quiet smiles and locked eyes, we paused to embrace the moment.

When I left, I said, “Thanks again for sharing your story. I’m actually working on an art project that is based on those same values: connecting with other people. (I told her about RGA). Please continue to do what you do. Thanks for the connection.”