Street Ministers Sling Coffee

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 23, 2018

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Submitted: October 23, 2018

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Not all superheroes wear capes….some wear green aprons.

 

 

It’s 7am on 7th Street in Central Phoenix. The hum of the café is bustling with the tinkering of ceramic mugs. Tired patrons lining up for a cup of liquid life. A circulating aroma of brewing espresso and smoky roasted coffee beans drifts through the room. The sounds of a pour hitting the inside of a paper cup can be heard amongst the huffing of steam wands.

 

Mark, one of the five baristas on the busy morning shift, loudly calls the next in line,

 

“I can help who’s next”.

 

A small man with a funny smile approaches the counter.

 

“Hi, MP. Will you have your usual small coffee?”

 

MP interrupts, “I’ll have a small coffee”, as he unwrinkles a balled-up dollar bill from his pocket.

MP lives across the street from the coffee shop in a group home for the mentally challenged. He is sweet, but from time to time he has outbursts of yelling about his grandfather’s banjo. The baristas know just what to do when it happens and calmly walk MP outside.

 

His real name was Michael J Palmer. It’s how he introduces himself to strangers. His face looks like a raisin from being out in the Arizona sun for hours on end. Even though he has a home to go to, it's really an awful place. He spends his days walking the streets of Phoenix and stopping in for coffee once or twice a day. He is in his sixties, but the baristas aren't sure if he has been this way his whole life or just ended up this way.

His clothes are always disheveled and his shoes are worn, but due to his constant walking he is in better shape than any of the Twenty somethings that lounge in the coffee shop.

 

Next in line is Alton Goodgame. He has the spirit of a six year old kid. Alton has lost all of his teeth and always wears slacks and a dress shirt- even though most of the time his clothes are dirty. “Hi, Alton!”, Eddie calls, waving frantically from the espresso bar.

 

“Hi guys”, Alton replies “Ya know I hate that place”, pointing to the home across the street.

 

“We know, buddy, that’s why we’re here”, Mark smiles.

 

Alton was hit in the head with a frying pan as a child by his father. Sadly, he always speaks well of  him nonetheless. “My father took me fishing one time and we caught the biggest fish!” Alton says proudly.

 

“Jess”, Mark calls

 

“We have a spill”

 

 Jess grabs a cloth from red bucket under the sink and heads out from behind the counter to investigate.

 

 

While Jess cleans up the spill, she hears Mark being berated by a customer.

 

“I asked for quarter of a packet Splenda in my tea! NOT a half a packet of Splenda!”

Her blue eyeshadow could be seen from halfway down the block, or least that’s what Mark snickers to himself.

 

Mark apologizes and remakes the tea with a quarter of a packet of Splenda- whatever that even means.

 

 

“And why do you let those people in here?”, she stares, pointing at MP.

 

“That’s it!”, Mark says sharply

 

Those People? Well, it’s their neighborhood too. His money is just as good as yours and at least he’s a good person unlike you and your quarter packet of Splenda!”

 

The customer stands there, horrified for a moment, frozen in embarrassment. She turns and quickly storms out.

 

“Mark”, Eddie put his hand on Mark’s shoulder ushering him into the back room.“Let’s take a break”.

 

“I mean who does she think she is?”, Mark exclaims.

“And why would we not let MP come in here?”

 

Mark knew that most likely the only kindness MP and Alton ever receive was in that coffee shop.

 

“It’s our job to take care of them. They’ve got no one. We’re like…like street ministers

 

“Street ministers?” Eddie asks

 

“Yeah”, answers Mark. “Our ministry is this street and these guys are our flock”

 

“Huh” Eddie replies “Street Ministers . It’s got a nice ring to it”.

“Yeah”, Mark smiles, “Street Ministers who sling coffee on the side”.


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