Konch Magazine - “The Mid Afternoon Brain Freeze” by Tennessee Reed


It is June of 2011 on a Tuesday afternoon
I go to the Starbucks at City Center Plaza in Oakland
with the former American, United and Delta ticket office
turned into a AAA Insurance Office,
Top Dog’s, Wells Fargo, Dress Barn, Jamba Juice
and Panda Express
Down at the bottom is 12th Street BART
I go purchase a double espresso for Dad
It is 3:00 on the dot
There is a long line
even though it is a hot day
The line is filled with young people
dressed for work in suits, high heels or dress shoes
talking on their blue tooth devices
to short stocky girls in their teens or early twenties
in short shorts, t-strap sandals and graphic tee shirts
with a group of three or four friends
There are a lot of people sitting at tables
reading books, working on a laptop or tablet,
or listening to an mp3 player
The place is packed with the sounds
of customers having conversations,
the baristas shouting orders
the machines filling up cups with coffee and whipped cream
and the music blasting from the monitor to my right
describing the title, artist and album
I notice one young woman over by a window
working on her silver MacBook Pro
and sipping on an iced mocha frappuccino
It is mixed with espresso, sugar, cocoa, and low fat milk
inside of a clear plastic cup with the Starbucks logo on it
She sips on it through a green straw
I finally get to the front and order the double espresso,
wait for it for five minutes
and then head back through rotunda of the Federal Building
consisting of two twin towers
to the Victorian homes
turned into offices at Preservation Park
with white picket fences and climbing roses
shaded by trees
and people sitting on the grass in front of the gazebo
to hand Dad his double espresso
He is sitting on a wrought iron bench
behind the Persian fountain
underneath an old fashioned street lamp
“There was a long line,” I said
“Everyone was having their mid-afternoon brain freeze.”