He was twenty-six, ordinary, and left no impression. He had blonde hair, lightly freckled skin, and pale blue eyes. At 5 foot 10 you could say he had height on his side, but his poor posture and begrudging walk curved its impact.
He worked as a barista at an independent coffee house where there was no need for the smiley-faced pleasantries required by employees at more commercial places. So long as he got the orders right —which was hardly a feat considering the clientele consisted of has-been writers who never deviated from sugarless black coffee— and was sure to clean up after each day, he was well suited for the job. And it was a job that suited him well, too. He could never remember a time when he felt ambitious, as he was the sort of man who was content getting through each hour of each day as it presented itself.
This stoic disposition shadowed the two short-lived relationships that he had, both of which ended for the same reason; ‘it’s like you don’t even care.’ And such observations of his personhood didn’t affect him as much as his realization and acceptance that they were true. He genuinely did not care.
His apathy had no romantic parentage. He’d enjoyed a pleasant life as an only child to a pleasant couple who lived in a humble home where embroidered cushions with verses of scripture were not uncommon. He left school with good enough grades to get into a community college, which he later dropped out of in favor of taking up a full time job that until then he’d been working at part time.
Something about the weathered furnishing, the tired lighting, and the faint playlist of Astrid Gilberto on repeat, calmed him. That he went unnoticed was something he never noticed; satisfied with achieving a level of comfort he observed most ‘active’ people chasing. Maybe he would be a barista forever. Maybe he would not.
That he existed as an extra on the set of other people’s lives, carrying out a peripheral purpose that could easily be fulfilled by someone equally if not more qualified to serve coffee, was absolutely fine by him.