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The coffee vendor

Apr 27, 2014

A few blocks from my apartment there's a woman who sells coffee and donuts out of one of those aluminum carts parked on the street. She's Dominican, and sometimes I order in Spanish, secretly hoping she'll think I'm from a Spanish-speaking country. Maybe she'll think I'm from Guatemala or Honduras or Ecuador. And so I'm disappointed when she answers me in English.

This weekend, her husband's working the coffee cart. There are no customers at the moment. But two well dressed men are leaning over the aluminum counter of the cart and talking to him. They are holding an open Bible with a worn out red cover. One of the men is pointing to an underlined passage with his finger and saying something about "la palabra de Dios". With his head down, the coffee vendor is listening carefully to the word of God. But he's also open for business, and so naturally his attention is divided. As I pass, he shoots a glance toward me in case I want to buy a donut.