My Valentine’s Day


Thursday, Valentine’s Day, I don’t work. Happily free of black collar shirt I chose to wear a cool tank top under my favorite big comfy hoodie. The weather is still chilly in the morning. However, I look toward the rising sun hopefully as I climb into my car. It could be a warm day. It’s plausibly possible. It was warm enough already to not require my car be preheated to 350 degrees. The cookies were good to go ya know?

Off I drive to school where Astronomy lab and then a big scary test await me.

The test goes well I think. I finish early and happily set off for my car.

Unfortunately my silly keys are already there sitting in the ignition of my locked car. Dammit Baconator!

I call my mom for Thursday is her half day off and she has a spare key that is not trapped inside my car. We always do shit on Thursday, my mom, Rei and me. So anyway we had been planning on meeting at 2nd street market. They close at 3 and it’s about 1:30 so my mom tells me to walk there and meet them and then after she will drop me off at my car.

It’s a decent little walk from Sinclair Community College to 2nd street market for those of you who don’t know Dayton. I like walking of course but it had not warmed up outside as much as I’d been hoping.

Shivering I zip up my oversize black hoodie up to my chin. Not having gloves I invert my sleeves so that my fingers grip the fabric tight. My arms cross to tightly hold my school books in place as off I walk.

I walk fast when on my own. I always have. I’ve always felt a rush to get where I’m going. I’ll bob and weave down school corridors to always be moving as fast as possible. I’ll do this even when I know I’ll get there early only to sit and wait.

My legs fly step by step in rapid succession and this puts into perspective the reasonable closeness of cool places to my school. It also warms me up this walk. My cheeks flush and the wind tosses my hair but it’s the kind of walk you can take in with a deep breath, and the cold will stretch out your lungs. It’s refreshing with a harshness that reminds you you’re alive.

I try to stay out of the shadows. I try to catch the heat of the sun as much as possible. There is little sun to offer and this being winter the shadows are long.

I cut a few streets and skip the Oregon District.

2nd street market is dying down but alive. I sit and wait but not so terribly long.

They have all sorts of Valentine’s Day things going on. Flowers snacks and Bullshit. I’m exhausted but I buy a little snacky thing. What I really want is Caffine. And not Caffine as in the cool coffee stop in the market (as much as I do love them) but any caffeinated beverage in general.

I have a coupon for Starbucks fancy stuff buy one get one so I have my mom drop me off in front of the library. I work in there but not today.

As much as I hate the chain business of Starbucks and it’s lack of character compared to little independent coffee shops… I must admit that smelling them all day long is a means of constant pain for me. That coffee and chocolatey smell is like a cigarette smoker going cold turkey and having to smell people smoking all day long. It’s awful. And it’s too expensive for me. If I need coffee I usually get the plain stuff from the cafeteria which is actually decent coffee but nothing amazing.

Anyway I come to Starbucks for that fancy sweet guilty pleasure of Mocha and Vanilla Spice Latte. My coupon is buy one get one so I get one of each. He asks what size. Realizing there is no size restriction I immediately request the BIG ONES.

One hot drink in each hand and my books tucked awkwardly under my elbow I wave even more awkwardly to various boys at work.

Everyone is very friendly at my work it’s downright weird. Those people either think I’m so crazy that they are genuinely afraid for their lives, or they are afraid that I’ll quit leaving them short handed. One or the other… or maybe a little of each.

Either way I feel obligated to explain myself to the guys working the counter. I raise one of my big drinks in the air.

“I just had to walk from here to 2nd street market because I locked my keys in my car!” I tell them. Smiling and nodding, I have everyone’s attention. “I deserve this!” I declare raising the mocha up over my head. The manager agrees with me “Yes you do!”

I start up the stairs with a sweet sip of triumphant delicious latte. I turn around half way.

“And I had a coupon!” I shout like an Olympic gold-medalist. My audience claps and cheers as the library seems to stand still in awe of my achievements.

This last bit may be bit of an exaggeration.

However, in order to not spill either drink I had to partake a little of each. I did in fact double fist those large caffeinated drinks as I marched up the stairs.

Nothing says champion like double fisting large hot Mocha and Latte.