A few years ago I was working in a quiet cafe full of retirees sipping coffee, and students quietly studying; when a man walked in who looked entirely out of place. He was clearly homeless. He had no shirt, no shoes. He was very dirty and smelled terrible. Everyone stared as he walked up to the counter. But his face had a look of enthusiasm like I had never seen. He was so stoked to be here at Starbucks. “I’ll have the big-sky special,” he said. I had no idea what he meant so I asked him to explain and he said it was an extra-large blended mocha with two extra shots and chocolate and caramel on top. Apparently it was very popular in Montana where he had just come from. I made him his drink and he enthusiastically ate all the whipped cream off the top and quickly downed the drink before heading back out the door. Everyone finally let their gaze drop back to what they were doing.
I often think of him when I see someone who looks like they have an interesting story to tell, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I see his face with that look of sheer, uninhibited excitement for a double blended mocha, his “Big-Sky Special.”