A simple question leaves me cutting through a jungle of red tape.
I’m nearly there, dear reader.
Answers are hard to come by in this present climate. I never expected this journey to be easy, but I also never thought I’d change so much along the way.
Monday morning. The McFarlin cafe. Two dollars and fifteen cents.
Coffee cup in hand, I took a tentative sip, ready for that sweet surge of caffeine through my central nervous system. And yet, something seemed off.
“Excuse me,” I asked the cashier, pointing at my drink. “Is this decaf?”
His tired eyes bored into mine. “I can’t really comment on that,” he spoke rather mechanically, picking up a business card and holding it up to my face. “You’ll have to take that up with my manager.”
“But you just made it,” I probed, peering around the card to meet his gaze. “Can’t you just tell me?”
“I can’t really comment on that,” he said, staring right past me, card still raised. “You’ll have to take that up with my manager.”
Brow furrowed, I took the business card. I could tell I wasn’t going to get anything out of this kid. This was TU after all.
I had a bit of time before I had to get to class, so I decided to call this manager up and see what she had to say about all this.
“Hi!” I said, the manager picking up on the first ring. “I just had a quick question about a drink I got today at your cafe this morning.”
“Drink?” she asked, her voice strained. “Coffee?”
“Call dining services,” she croaked, hanging up.
Stunned, the phone slipped from my fingers. What the hell was going on here?
This was quickly becoming far more interesting than any of the classes I had today, let alone this week. It was clear to me that I needed to follow this thread wherever and whatever it wound itself around.
Even if it ended up around my own throat.
And so I come to you, dear reader, with the facts I have unearthed so far. Read closely, as I have suffered greatly to find them.
One: The McFarlin Library cafe gets their coffee from a secret well deep within the bowels of the university. I have yet to find the exact location, but I am close. The librarian will break soon. He misses his family.
Two: After many interviews, I have discovered their brewing methods. For a standard latte, they blend their coffee with half a cup of whole milk, cream from a five-horned goat, a puree of tuition payments and the tears of a heavily pregnant rat harvested from the halls of Collins. And yet they all refuse to reveal its caffeine content.
Three: Do not fear the red tape. It holds the foundation of this institution together. Without its tight binds, TU would crumble under the weight of our sins. Do not fear the red tape.
And this is where I leave you, dear reader. In looking to dismantle the bureaucracy, I have learned to embrace it.
Without pain, there is no joy in finding what you seek. Through my suffering, I have learned how to truly feel.
I will find my answer some day, but today I have found myself.