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Me and the Coffee Whore

February 2006 on our adventure in Chile/Argentina

Santiago, Chile, is one of the largest cities in South America. It is also one of the most polluted cities in the world. And not that impressive, lacking a distinct personality or great history. But it does have something that other places don’t — coffee with legs.

Café con piernas — or coffee with legs — is based on the tried and true idea that sex sells. In these cramped coffee shops women squeezed into tight clothes like lips and assholes into hot dog casings serve coffee to men in business suits and then maybe make a few lewd comments at the racier places.

There are two types of these cafes. The first are more reputable with clear windows and women in outfits reminiscent of stewardesses from the 1960s. The cafe is a standup affair with men crowded around the bar slurping coffee as mildly unattractive women pour dark coffee from clear, glass pots. The second variety is all tinted windows and disco balls and women in their underwear serving coffee. Normally this would seem like a good idea.
I was wandering the streets of Santiago trying to work up the nerve to enter one of these cafes in the name of curiosity and dirty, old-man perversion.

I stopped outside one tinted cafe for a spell trying to sneak a peak in the door as men popped in and out. But the street was too crowded and I just didn’t feel right entering.

Then I wandered to Mac Iver Avenue and spied Cafe Angel. When I thought no one was looking, I ducked into the small cafe.

As I entered the bar there was a woman with an inviting smile, a sloppily fitted bra, and a corset with a cottage cheese belly peeking out below. She said her name was Veronica and she pointed to the list of drinks on the wall printed on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of white paper with three things: coffee, tea, orange juice.

“Boy, umm… I guess I’ll have the coffee,” I stammered as Veronica made flirtatious googly eyes at me — something I’m sure she only did for me.

The only other person there on this warm afternoon looked like he’d been hanging out all day nursing one coffee. His head was slumped into the crook of his elbow and his other arm was wrapped around an almost empty coffee cup.

As the waitress strolled by to get my coffee rolling she shook her rear and gently slapped my butt. A little taken aback, I set my backpack on the unoccupied stainless steel bar. There was a large mirror behind the bar and a sink. I wasn’t sure of the sink’s purpose since the coffee was being prepared in the back. There were also rubber gloves.

I took out my notebook to scratch out some descriptions and it shone like a diamond in the blacklight. Veronica sauntered over in her high heels and looked over my shoulder to make small talk.

She seemed to have trouble with eye contact checking out her reflection in the mirror behind the bar while slowly gyrating to the music.

And then I asked about my coffee and she asked if I wanted it hot. Her friend in a stretched-out, purple leopard-print bikini came over and mentioned that they didn’t know about the coffee, but they did think I looked hot, at which point they both proceeded to grab at my weiner. I jumped back nervously wanting to slink out.

But no, for the integrity of the mission I forced myself to stay. Veronica left giggling and jiggling and brought my coffee from the back. Two squiggy pimp types complete with slick hair and gold chains sat in back making jokes and laughing ominously as Veronica tried to make me comfortable. She began singing along to the Red Hot Chili Peppers video on the television.

“I sing pretty good,” she stated.
“Yes, you sure do,” I replied.
“You talk pretty clear,” she told me.
“Thanks,” I said.

And so feeling the conversation lag, I began to sing with her, both in our own worlds as the Red Hot Chili Peppers gloried in ‘Californication.’ I laughed picturing myself in this scene with what appeared to be a coffee-serving prostitute singing 6-year-old Chili Pepper songs under disco lights.

Veronica could neither appreciate why I was laughing, nor should she. But we had a decent time for those few, fleeting minutes it took me to down my coffee. Then another customer came in and her attentions were distracted. The other woman laid out on the bar in front of me and said she was sleeping and so I said I was leaving. As I opened the door into daylight a cute girl on the street outside passed by with a knowing smile.

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2 thoughts on “Me and the Coffee Whore

  1. Pingback: Coffee and Prostitution « *Good is Love*

  2. Pingback: Something Annoying | *Good is Love*

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