I walked into the bar in the afternoon and the atmosphere was much different than the morning.
In the morning the narrow door opened to people sitting at little tables while sipping on a cappuccino and reading the newspaper. My glasses fogged from the heat of the place and the air was thick with the smell of fresh pastries and coffee grounds. The counter of the bar was full of customers awaiting their espresso. Neighbors chatted, others quietly took in the morning. Ninety cents for a coffee. Here the ritual of a coffee is something I’ve fallen in love with. It can be any hour of the day or night, coffee is ok – especially after food. I went back in the late afternoon on my lunch break, but now I was met with men holding beer bottles outside the door, and when I walked in, a British man in jeans and a biker jacket was egging on the barista to do something for him and she was standing on the other side of the counter, hands crossed over her chest. One was yelling in slurred English, the other in machine-gun angry Italian, one certainly not understanding the other, and one probably just not giving a shit about communicating with him. She made eye contact and made a face of apology, then looked for an alliance as she took my order and started the machine.
I wove around British Biker and up to the bar and leaned on the counter to join the audience. After a few more moments of dual-language arguing, and another girl came out of the back. “Madonnaaa WILLIAM!” She moaned at the man.
“Come onnnnn it’s the 80’s!” He whined, holding up his air guitar.
“Fine, if you pay everything now, I will play the damn song.” She shot back in perfect English. He agreed, and then took the amount of time it took me to have my coffee for him to pull his card out of his pocket.
I thanked the girls and walked out as William’s favorite song blared through the speakers and cheers echoed loud over the music.