I had only a $20 bill in my pocket yesterday morning, nothing smaller, no change other than a handful of pennies. And I needed my morning coffee, my morning ritual on the corner of 116th & Broadway, where I haven't actually had to order in months and months. They see me coming, prepare my coffee, accept my $1.25, and I'm on my way. Sometimes we mention the weather, or wish each other a pleasant weekend. Sometimes it's just a nod and a smile.
So I found myself apologizing yesterday morning as I handed over my $20 bill, but was glad to be getting change so that I could at least buy my after-lunch coffee, from the coffee stand on 116th & Amsterdam, with something smaller. To my surprise, the coffee stand man waved me off, saying, "Don't worry, honey, just bring it tomorrow."
Which, of course, was very sweet of him. But then I had to psych myself up for going through the same thing all over again on my lunch break. Which I did. And when the other coffee stand man, the one on 116th & Amsterdam, saw me waving a $20 bill around, he, too, waved me off and said, "No, no, it's okay, just bring it tomorrow!"
So this morning I made sure to have exact change for not two, but four cups of coffee safely in pocket before traipsing on out to the bus stop.
One down, one more to go.