I worked the late shift at a gas station. This was back in the blurry years between 96 and 99. There was a nightly AA meeting around the corner. Every night after the meeting let out, an old-timer would come in, glance at the empty coffee pot next to the beer cooler and ask if I planned to make any coffee that night. He had anxious eyes and wore an old satin windbreaker and always looked like he was cold.
Making coffee was one of my very few duties as a gas station clerk but I didn’t drink coffee yet so I didn’t appreciate its import or know how to make it. I was too busy chain-smoking Kools, staring out the window, and writing terrible poetry. Really bad stuff that I actually set on fire a few years later. So nobody who came to the Amoco had any coffee and if they did, it was from a cold pot set out earlier in the afternoon. A few customers offered to make it themselves but I didn’t know where the materials were kept. I was a bastard back then and sometimes I wish I could find that sad guy in the windbreaker, apologize, and make him an amazing pot of fancy coffee.