There were a dozen of us scattered about the tables in the coffee shop.
Some were working on computers, others having quiet conversations; personally, I was preparing for a class later that day. Of course, there were a handful of baristas behind the counter.
No one — including myself — paid much mind when he opened the door to enter.
He looked “relatively normal;” forty-something, about five and half feet in height. His clothes and dark brown hair were slightly disheveled and somewhat dirty; both of those could have been attributed to him being a workingman ending a long day. What was not “relatively normal” was as he stood at the entrance, blocking others from coming or going, he raised his voice and started shouting at us, making direct eye contact across the room with me.
At first I wasn’t sure what he was saying; caught off guard by what is certainly not expected or standard behavior.
The gist of his tirade was we “had better change teams immediately” or we were all “going to pay.” His screaming was steeped with fury and rage and punctuated with a string of expletives culminating in a warning about how he was going to “f” us all up. Stunned, we sat; gawking and puzzled, until he lifted something from near his worn shoes, slammed shut the door, turned on his heels, and disappeared into the foot traffic flowing along the thoroughfare.
We – the patrons and employees – glanced at each other. One of the servers, about to leave for her break, commented, “I think I’ll wait a few minutes.” Several moments passed; heart rates returned to normal. Our behaviors returned to what they were prior the rude interruption.