A Penny For Your Thoughts

“Could I have a large coffee with three Equals, please?” 

“Yes, sir. One large hot coffee with three Equals but no cream. Correct?”

“Yes, ma’am, thank you.”

“Come on around to the window, please.” 

I fished out two singles from my wallet, then felt in the little pocket in the armrest for whatever coins might still be in there. I usually just drop my change right into that little ready made coin holder. Thank you, Mazda.

I made the tight turn, straightened up and sidled up to the drive through window. The little screen was black, but within thirty seconds it read $2.49. 

I folded the ones in half, then placed two quarters on top.

She came to the window, young and fresh-faced even at this early  evening hour. She smiled, took my money but held the cup of coffee for a couple of seconds. 

“I just wanted to ask you a question,” she said, innocently enough. 

“Sure,” I said.

She looked at the large cup of steaming coffee in her hand almost quizzically. 

“How does this taste? I mean, does it just taste like black coffee, or, you know, does it taste sweet or something?” 

I blinked. 

“Uh, yeah, it’s got three Equals in it, so , you know, it tastes kinda sweet. I like it black but a little sweet. No cream usually.” 

She then released the cup to me, satisfied that it was really what I wanted. 

“Oh , okay. Thank you. I had just been wondering about that.” 

She turned to ring up the sale, putting my $2.50 in the cash drawer. The Dunkin Donuts uniform connoted a minimum amount of expertise in this particular area, I mused. 

“It’s okay,” I said. “You can keep the change for your drawer.”

Penny for your thoughts, I said in my mind, and drove away.