It is just before 9AM, and it is cracklin’ today at Starbucks, This is the smallest one that I go to, and every table and chair is taken. I scored the last tiny table. It feels different, like I am on a Japanese commuter train, jammed in, on high frottage alert. Someone just yelled, “YEAH BABY!” in an Austin Powers voice. I take that as a sign of something.

I am close enough to the other tables to unwillingly hear about 4 separate conversations, all going at warp speed, high volume. Perhaps today was Extra Espresso Shot or Crystal Meth Scone Day. Surrounding the tables are the Three Implacable Overstuffed Chair Men. They are remarkably similar to each other, and in noticing this, I am happy. Each one, mid- to late-30s, clean-shaven, about 6’2”, jeans, brown boots, dark sweater, reading the Seattle Times, drinking an iced beverage. Each has the exact same level of male pattern baldness happening with their mid-brown hair remnants. Are they triplets? I wish they were; triplets unknown to each other, separated at birth through a passionate and traumatic teenage adoption, farmed out to different families, now drawn to the Overstuffed Chairs as turtle babies to the sea. They do not acknowledge each other at all, or my vision of reunion. They sit and hold down the corner of the Starbucks in their comfy velvet ploosh, separate and independent in their minds but not in mine. Somehow, someday, their aging, faded birth mother will find them, and will set up a meeting here. The Men will take the Chairs, and leave her to stand, considering them all. She will ask them for money to repair her uterine prolapse, they will awkwardly fish out random bills from their wallets, excuse themselves, and never return. To this Starbucks, anyway.

What is it about Wednesday morning? Don’t people have to be somewhere? The parking lot is jammed, fancy cars waiting for spaces so they don’t have to walk the 50 feet from the grocery store lot. The three people in front of me are talking work, though. I wonder what they all do, they there in their black leather jackets. More triplets? Maybe that is it! I start to think what if I, too, have triplet siblings somewhere. Oh, how awful. I think I would be horrified and competitive. I would try to convince my new siblings that they were in desperate need of catastrophic plastic surgery. Grr. I would feel like they were out there in the world messing up my deal.

I don’t see women who look a lot like me around. There are similarities, but they are surface: glasses, hair, having teeth, etc. Every so often someone will say, oh you look like so-and-so, and I am always completely depressed and offended by who they mention. Let it be known: a comparison to Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, and Mary is NOT FLATTERING. Jesus. I have to live with that now. Also, never never never never never never call a woman who is 110 lbs, 22, and fit, “stout.” STOUT? STOUT? FOR FUCKING CHRIST’S SAKE!!! Is there any woman ALIVE who would find that GOOD? Stout. It’s been a long time since 22, but STOUT is burned on my psyche for all time. I suppose it could have been “repulsive” or “oily” or “thalidomide-y” instead, so I should be grateful just to have to live with the self-image of Helga, The Swiss Oxen Mistress.

See, you’ve learned stuff by reading this. Stout = NO.

It’s finally thinning out here, all the triplets have moved on in separate vehicles, I have finished my breakfast, and I need to walk over to the grocery store to pick up some organic Ox milk. Yodel-ay-hee, yodel-ay-hee, yodel-ay-hee-HOOOOO!