It is not an easy task to stand behind a counter extracting espresso from coffee grounds and feel as if life matters. The charade is necessary, having learned that those without are excluded from the whole of society — and how active can the pursuit of goodness be when one is removed from the giant cesspool of citizenry? At least behind the counter, doing what a vending machine could do more precisely, I can observe those who wish to belong.

In the corner, sharing a sofa with a friend, a woman who was referred to as Claudia complained about her missing husband, whom she referred to as Dan. If the Captain had fully returned as the man once captained, it sounded like a perfect role of good purpose. The Captain would become Dan while Dan copulated with women who did not bear him three...four...five children. But that seemed too gentle and sweet a cause for the darkness that visited the man who once was. Nevertheless, listening to Claudia’s story of abandonment by her well educated and successful doctor husband caused smirk behind the espresso machine.

How fortunate man is to have woman. It if were not their desire, their necessity to see more than our true calling, civilization would not exist. Unfortunately, the base needs of the noble male cause much misery amongst those who love those strong with desire — good and evil. To be a gentleman, it would be kind to set this sweet Claudia straight about missing Dan’s most probable desires.

Remembering that she was drinking a triple shot skinny vanilla latte, one was delivered as a means of bringing the voice of truth.

“I’m sorry, but I think I made a mistake. I think the one you are drinking is a double, not the triple you ordered. I made you another.” I lied, offering her the fresh cup.

“Thank you,” she said, surprised.

“You’re welcome,” I replied as we politely exchanged cups. Lowering the voice of reason so only she could hear, wisdom was offered: “Also, I just wanted you to know that Dan is fine. As soon as he is done with his freak festival, he will return.”

“You know Dan?! Where is he?”

“Dan? Your Dan, I don’t know, but really, all men are Dan.”

“What? So you don’t know Dan?”

“Oh, I know Dan, and I know your Dan, I just can’t attest to meeting him personally, if that is your query.”

“What the...,” she began, before being pulled away by her friend.

“Claudia, let’s go,” the friend with child bearing hips so rudely interrupted as the kind words of compassion were comforting her worry.

Looking with an expression of disbelief, Claudia could be nothing but grateful as she left, knowing Dan was well. She can now await his triumphant return in peace.

We think we do not understand why people around us do what they do, but that is only because we lie about who we are, who they are. The truth is they are who they are and not who we want them to be, and we are who we are, not who we want to be seen as. To embrace such simple truth takes one dedicated to...the obvious.