Things are still going well for my friend Ben, who has been likened to Jonathan Franzen by his local Starbucks barista since July. The last I heard, she was reading The Corrections and loving it; now it appears she has gone straight to the phase in the coffee-maker/coffee-drinker relationship where nicknames are given and endearments are exchanged. Here’s the latest text from Ben:
I am now officially known as Franzen at Starbucks. As in, “Hey Franzen, how’s your morning?”
As someone who has never had an easy sort of grace with strangers, I’m incredibly jealous of Ben’s rapport with this mysterious and literary caffeine peddler. Then again, I don’t look like Mr. Franzen — which, as a woman, I think is a good problem to have.