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Good Coffee and Exposed Brick

View from my bakers bench at Union Pacific Coffee, Victoria

The view from my baker’s bench at Union Pacific Coffee. Sometimes I look at the bricks and my mind starts to wander…

There's a scene in the middle of the finest action movies where the hero, temporarily defeated and on the mend, hides out in a secluded town. Far, far out of the limelight. Away from prying eyes. Far up north, or out west. Think Alaska, or Norway, or heck, Vancouver Island.

He doesn't offer much information, and folks don't ask a lot of questions. Drifters are common here. People come, heal up and move on again. It's as regular as crocuses blooming in spring and the salmon running in fall.

The locals are nice enough. No matter how bruised up our hero, they have seen worse. They've seen it all.

Maybe he gets a job at the diner on Main Street. The diner between the post office and the barber shop. Good coffee, hearty soup and home made pie. Exposed brick on the walls and wide, raw timbers holding up the floor above. The regulars flipping coins to decide who is buying today. Grandparents bringing the wee ones in for a treat.

A few weeks of this and our hero's bruises start to fade, green, then grey, then gone. A few months, and he's thinking that the dish washing life might be OK after all. The air is clear, the people are fine folk and you sure can't beat the soup. For a minute, he might even forget how he got those bruises in the first place.

This is exactly the point where, in the movies at least, everything comes crashing down. A mysterious note appears in the mail. The bad guys park their too-fancy sedan in front of the diner. She sits down for breakfast, in the booth with a clear line of sight to the dish pit. The viewer inhales deeply and the action kicks off again.

But here in the "real world", it doesn't have to change. It can be exposed bricks and timbers every day if you want it. Good people, good coffee, good soup. And maybe some hot bread in the oven.

Another view from my bench