One weekend day after scratching my beard to remove crumbs from the cherry greek yogurt I had at brunch, I decided to take my copy of Walden Pond to a coffee shop to relax and contemplate the week. Leaving brunch was very straightforward, given that the process of getting in the car, backing out of my space, and later making a left onto the street was fairly constrained. However, as I turned onto the tree-lined, pedestrian friendly thoroughfare that rested on the former location of a crack house, I began to contemplate the futility of existence, and how every choice I made now closed off an infinite number of future lives I could have led, as simply as closing the last page of my favorite book, beard trimmings and all.

How could an all natural soy latte cure my dread? No number of coffee shop jazz or white boy rap songs played on a device manufactured in an oppressive Malaysian sweat shop could assauge by bad feelings. The idea that I had to choose between a locally sourced coffee shop or a chain coffee shop that, let’s be honest, had much better coffee without the ego boost, seemed too much for a soul to contemplate. If only fainting couches fit in by hybrid mini van.

I continued driving aimlessly to my inevetible fork in the road. On the side walk was some dude in yoga workout clothes running with his dog. He was carrying those little green plastic bags for cleaning certain types of trash. How funny that little bastard of a dog went from an alarm system for the human to using the human as a personal janitorial service. “Why am I calling him a ‘human’?”, I thought.”Who am I to judge, my dog cleaned up that parfait.” Fortunately, both coffee shops allowed dogs.

I was approaching the traffic light and had to make a choice. Normally contemplating the ultimate futility of existence was enough to bring me into a more decisive mood. Once I realized this method was futile, I could see both coffee shops in my rearview mirror. I did a U-turn and some guy honked at me. Since my problem appeared to be a lack of desire to exert myself, I thought the easiest way out of this crisis was simply going to the shop that was now on my right. I threw on my brakes as two dudes on a tandem bicycle rolled by, italian gellatos in hand and laboratory inseminated, color-coordinated twin boys in tow.

I parked and then realized that I was at the chain place, where I had no rewards card. Plus, they didn’t have coffee cups made of 60% post-recycled wood fibers. But then I would have to spend another span of time in my short existence waiting at the traffic light. I sat in my car and started reading. My dog jumped in the passenger seat and licked my face before I could do anything. It smelled like cherry greek yogurt parfait.



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