"Oh, That's Rich!"
So this fellow barista of mine, let’s call him Rich, he comes off as a real clean-cut type, a real stand-out citizen. Rich could’ve been the dude who gave Little Goody Two-Shoes her first pair of pumps. He’s a part-timer at the coffee shop. This baffles* me given that he’s also a full-time chemist/biologist at Redacted Labs, teaches kids how to play chess on Sundays, serves as a “big brother” to at-risk youth, volunteers to feed the homeless, patronizes the opera, easily qualifies as one who is “well-read,” and continues to take physics college courses “just for fun.” I learned earlier this evening that Rich has a dark side, too. When he’s not brewing coffee or being an altruist or an overachiever, he’s going to raves, he’s getting smashed, he’s experimenting with very dangerous illicit drugs. He goes through men and women like Denis Leary goes through packs of cigarettes. But to look at him, you would never know it. This Rich guy, he’s the poster boy for the young affluent yuppie type—who isn’t demonstrably full of shit. He’s downright endearing. The bastard.
9 April 2000
*[What if he couldn’t endure solitude? What if he kept so busy for no other reason than to avoid reflecting on some past horror?]