The names have been changed to protect their identities, but the following story is true.
I worked for a major American coffee retailer for about 12 years. It's remarkable to me, now that I type that number out. I hear humans have a tough time conceptualizing larger numbers; so, when I think of the thousands of days I've spent employed with that company, the gallons of coffee brewed, and the stacks of cash passing through my hands, it hardly holds any meaning.
Instead, I remember the customers and the employees. I've worked with over a hundred different people. I remember—let's call him—Bob. Bob and I got along once he knew I wasn't completely full of it. I remember Lacy, and our inside jokes. Trent was ten years younger than me, started up community college at the same time, but graduated four year university a few years before me.
So, I've moved on. I still drop by once in a while. I see some of the same faces. Customers ask if I'm doing well, and why I don't work there anymore. Being the self-loathing, needy S.O.B. I am, I reluctantly tell them that I've started a family portrait and wedding photography business. It sort of spills out of the side of my mouth as I grimace my way through explaining how business is going great (well, I have no real frame of reference, so I suppose it's going ok). I don't know if I'm committed yet, and that's the scariest thing to admit. But, heck, It's what I'm doing now, and in between packing lunches, changing diapers, folding laundry, and feeling guilty for turning on the television, I find time to commit to this hobby turned business. I sentence myself in the wee morning hours to the dungeon of my apartment complex's community office center, and grind away into the void.
Since being removed from that place, everything has begun to fade away, like a photo un-developing. There's this beautiful passage that describes my feelings about that coffee shop. My writer friend recommended it to me. It's by a poet name Billy Collins.
There's really nothing I can say that can explain it better than that.