The Day My Starbucks Life Paid Off

Friday, August 30, 2013

Today hasn't been great. It started out kind of crappy, if I'm being honest. Work is hectic, & I got into a really hurtful argument on Twitter, & everything's just been a little... much, you know?

Nathan got out of work early & asked if I wanted to get lunch together, so I took a break from work & we went to The Chowda House, a new seafood place that just opened up a few blocks from our place. I brought my laptop with me so that afterward, I could camp out at the downtown Starbucks for the rest of the work day.

There was some commotion happening across the street from Starbucks, but it didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. In fact, there's frequently a commotion happening across the street from Starbucks, where Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash is located. It's a comic book shop owned by Kevin Smith (he of Clerks & Mallrats fame, among others), & it serves as the set of AMC's reality show Comic Book Men, which means there are often film crews & large-ish crowds gathered outside. In fact, I was recently reprimanded by a film crewmenber for daring to - gasp! - stop on the sidewalk to take a photo of filming. Not wanting to receive another slap on the wrist this afternoon, I thought nothing of today's gathering & went in for my coffee.

But then the crowd started moving down the street, away from the comic book store, & I heard someone in the coffee shop say, "Yeah, some mayor is in town. Newark? I don't know why, though, or why anyone cares."

Ignoring the fact that such a statement hurts my heart - learn your local politics, people - I went on high alert: CORY BOOKER IS HERE? I walked outside, phone in hand, & joined the small fray walking slowly down the street with him as he greeted citizens of my fair town.

A woman turned to me right away: "Do you want to meet Mr. Booker?" she asked. "You've got to get in there! Come on, I'll take your photo."

And that's how I ended up shaking the hand of my future senator, despite a little bit of verbal bumbling on my part because I was, let's face it, slightly starstruck. Cory Booker, y'all.

"I met you once," I told him, "when you spoke to the Union for Reform Judaism."

The mayor looked surprised, in a good. "Ah, the URJ!" he responded with a smile. "Great people."

Of course, it's possible that a seasoned politician like Cory Booker is an expert bullshitter & that he does not, actually, remember speaking to the great people of the URJ way back in 2007. But hey, he made me feel like he did, & that was nice.

And I was even having a good hair day!
Still smiling like a buffoon, I made my way back into Starbucks & settled in to work - for real this time. Except...

"Does anyone ever tell you that you look like Jay from the Jay & Silent Bob movies?" I heard a female voice ask. I turned to see a grungy, pink-haired teenager behind me addressing a grungy, long-haired dude picking up a cup of coffee.

Oh, you know where this is going.

I started laughing to myself. The Jay "lookalike" turned to me & winked.

"Yeah, sometimes people tell me that."

"You look a lot like him."

"You don't say?"

"Wait. ARE YOU HIM?"

And that's how I accidentally met Cory Booker & Jason Mewes within a span of 10 minutes.

Needless to say, my day got better. And sometimes, man, it's like the universe knows I wish I lived in a city, where quirky stuff like this happens all the time. Thanks for throwing me a bone, life.

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