Week 33: By Order, Not by Name

You know me by sight
By order, not by name

I know you by your freckles
Medium light roast, please

You hand me my drink
The same one I always get
I smile and say thank you
You smile brighter, right on cue

I will see you in a week
And probably the next week
And maybe the next one after that

And then on some gray Friday
You will be gone
A shift change or a new job
I will never know

Author’s Notes:

There is a unique kind of relationship that you have with people who you only interact within specific, limited contexts that I think is interesting—a lot of times this might be customer service type relationships, or people who regularly overlap with your public transit schedule, or things like that.

You can develop a certain type of comfort and coexistence with them without necessarily knowing a thing about them, and your mind automatically fills in gaps, and you start to feel like you know them. And it’s funny, because eventually one day, they’ll be gone and you’ll never see them again, and it’s not exactly sad, but it does feel odd— like you were robbed of a goodbye.