I went to the food cart on the northwest corner of 116th & Broadway today for my morning coffee. The man working there grinned at me, wished me a good morning, and said, smiling cheerfully, "You are one of my oldest customers!"
He went on to explain that he began working at the cart four years ago and just recently bought it from his employer and thanked me for being such a nice customer. He asked how long I've been buying coffee from them, and if he was correct that it was nearly as long as he'd been working there. I laughed and said that I've been buying coffee from one person or another on that corner, minus a few weeks or months here and there, for nearly seventeen years now.
I think this number shocked us both a bit.
I congratulated him on his recent acquisition of the food cart and scurried off towards campus and the quiet of work.