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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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A Christmas Koan

A Christmas Koan
Dan Dodge

Once upon a cold December day, Kinch entered the inner sanctum of his second favorite Starbucks Fine Coffee House [and miscellaneous treats] sometime at the beginning of last week. He stood in the assembly line and ordered the ‘usual’ half-caf Americano [in the generic, red cup].  He started to retrieve the cash to pay for the same, when, to his surprise, the attendant Barista said: ‘Your coffee is free, sir. It was paid forward by one of the customers ahead of you….’

Kinch shot a quick glance over to the pick-up counter. There were four or five people in various stages of waiting-ness, so he thanked the Barista and moved to join the queue.
While waiting, he wondered which kind soul had been randomly kind in his favor.

Showed a little unsolicited Christmas spirit.

Later that week, the memory of paying forward was still fresh in his mind as he
dropped into his very favorite Starbucks. Different town, same Starbucks. There were two Baristas taking orders for the assembly line of coffee drinkers; waiting in line, and in front of Kinch, was a young man; behind him stood an older man and a middle aged woman. Kinch placed his usual order and asked the Barista [on the right] if he could pay forward. She readily agreed, Kinch ordered and paid, and proceeded along the ‘assembly line’  to the pick up counter.

Meanwhile, the older man stepped up to order from the Barista on the left and the middle aged woman did likewise with the Barista on the right [the same Barista who  had served Kinch]. The next thing Kinch knew was that the middle aged woman grabbed the older man beside her and gave him the biggest hug, all the while saying ‘thank you….thank you…thank you…’
The Barista looked over to Kinch and smiled in part confusion and part astonishment.
Kinch smiled back, picked up his order and left.

All day long he recounted the story.
Everyone smiled.
Everyone, including Kinch.

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