yesterday was a four friends kind of day.
i was walking across the blue bridge by grand valley, it was windy and a bit chilly and the leaves were blowing all over the place. i got that ache in my belly on how it used to be walking across the bridge after class to go to work on those cool, fall days. i remember walking into four friends with yellow leaves blowing in the door with me and a little bell ringing. i can still smell the familiar smell of that place and know exactly where all the cracked tiles were from hours of mopping them.
i wanted to be able to walk right into work, confident and content that i was capable and knew what i was doing. i wanted to eat a monaco sandwich, made just the way i like it and put on the old panini machine. i wanted to grab the cold milk picture and steam up some good milk and make lattes, and mochas and other warm drinks all night long. i just wanted to be in that space, with those funny people all working together to pay for school and make it in this world.
four friends has such significance for me because it was the first place that i actually got to know people who were quite different from me. i now know its a ‘hipster’ lifestyle that i was hanging out with but back then it was just a bunch of people who didn’t shower everyday or wear make-up all the time or have the latest fashions. we were quite the bunch, playing what we wanted to listen to over the speakers, making what we wanted to drink, and giving away left over scones to whom we wanted to.
there were some crazy regulars that made that place feel like two worlds colliding. there were the business men who came in with there business partners all polished and clean, ordering the same drink and expecting you to make it that way. then there were those without a home who came to sit in a warm place for a little while, sometimes buying a drink, sometimes not. we even had one lady who we would tally hot chocolates for. she could pay them sometimes and other times not, but at the end of the day, did that matter?
so, thank you four friends. thank you for being a place that i could discover more of who i am. thank you for being offering me a skill that i have found is my passion. thank you for being a place where a bunch of college crazies could work together on coffee and life and make grand rapids a better place because of it. i miss you.