Monday, May 28, 2007

High Anxiety

First, there was the time when La Marzocco was delivered and installed. At that point, every time I walked into Stella, I felt euphoric. The shiny new machine, the bags of beans, all the people stopping by to ask about our opening date - all that made me downright giddy.

It's been about a month since the machine was installed. My espresso skills are way improved, but the euphoria has given way to anxiety. I still keep the front door open when I am working inside, and I am still thrilled to try out new blends, but my mood is, well, preoccupied, to put it mildly. Now, there are many reasons one can be anxious when things are essentially going well - a dour outlook on life, garden variety manic-depression, fear of what might come next. It could be lots of things, but none of them are me. I am a cockeyed optimist, goddamn it, and worrying about what might come next just ain't my bag.

The thing is, I know precisely the source of this anxiety. I can pinpoint it. Here it is: tomorrow morning, I am applying for a health inspection. Not that I have anything to worry about - the place is clean, and everything is up to code, as far as I know. No matter. You see, it's that Soviet upbringing messing with me. I was only a teenager when I left the good old USSR, and I was never victimized by the regime, but I still believe that one day a man in an Astrakhan hat will show up at my door and hammer a sickle up my ass.

Most ex-Soviets are like that. Every one us has a little Montana Freeman inside, ready to hole up in a cabin with some deer jerky, a shotgun, and a bucket of buckshot to fire on them gubmint agents. In this case, though, I have to do the polar opposite of that - throw my doors open for the agents, welcome them in, grovel, and if they find any buckshot, or deer jerky for that matter, I will never be opening for business.

The inspector will not show for a good week or two, and in the meantime I need to keep myself on an even keel. Avoiding getting too hopped up on my own product would be a good start. You, the people of the neighborhood, on the other hand, need to keep your fingers crossed. Check out the fabulous new photos on the the Stella website and wish me luck!

1 comment:

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