The Shaman and the Coffee Shop

The Falls8, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2021.

The Second Lesson Percolates

Cat Stevens sang “Morning has Broken” above us, as we sat in the corner café, with its old stone walls, its monstrous fireplace, and its unbreakable wood tables and chairs. I suddenly felt relaxed in a way that had escaped me for weeks.

The Shaman looked at me quickly, saw my newfound comfort, and pushed me violently to the floor. Luckily, there was no coffee to spill yet, no cakes to fly upward into the vaulted ceiling, though the Shaman likely would have preferred the added derangements.

“Why did you do that?” I asked, as I got back up, dusted myself off, and sat down again.
“Because chaos and surprise are beautiful when you’re wallowing in comfort, just as comfort is beautiful in the midst of disaster and mayhem.”

Before I could respond, the waitress came by, smiled knowingly, and asked for our order. I had a strong feeling she knew the Shaman well, and his wink confirmed this.

“I’ll take the usual, Morrigan,” the Shaman said.
“So, whatever I decide, right?” replied the waitress.
“You know me too well, oh goddess of the dark bean.”
“And you, young sir? What can I bring to delight or terrorize the palette?”
“Can you decide for me?”
“No, young sir, you must choose this time.”

I was about to question the difference in her treatment of the two of us, but thought better of it. I didn’t want to be knocked off my chair again, or worse.

“A double-espresso, please, with chocolate and vanilla shavings. Some of your freshest carrot cake too.”
“A fine order, young sir. Don’t you think so, Shaman?” said Morrigan, with her big eyes flaring in anger.
“Yes, I think he’s learning how to rush headlong through the calmness. Oh, and can you please bring the tabasco?”


The Shaman and the Coffee Shop
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