From the woman in front of me in line, smallish, grayish, crazyish: "He was doing so well, had this nice girlfriend, and then one day he just snapped and started spitting on her and slapping her, and I said, 'What on earth, Gerald?' and oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize there was anyone behind me."
From the barista, with a blonde stripe on his mohawk: "Sorry about that." And then: "What size would you like that tea - small, large or extra large?"
From a man with his nose buried in 101 Things You Should Know About 2012: "No, go ahead. I'm not saving it for anyone."
From two girls next to me, punching in numbers on scientific calculators: "... expression for the compression factor... solve for P over T..."
Older woman, grandmother-helpful, from the counter: "They're out of cookies, John."
Older man in armchair browsing A Photo History of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. "What?"
Older woman: "They're out of cookies. They're OUT of COOKIES."
Man in armchair: "Oh."
Older woman: "Would you like something else?"
Man in armchair, flustered: "Ah, no. Forget it."
From fiftyish woman wearing a babydoll dress and go-go boots: "I don't know if I should date that guy from the restaurant. He's a little too New York for me."
Fiftyish woman's much younger companion with wet curls and her back to me: "Where do you meet these people? Seriously?"
Fiftyish woman: "I go out. You know -- Starbucks."
From long-haired employee who once helped me order a rare book: "You can buy these mugs at any '76. Half-gallon size. And they're really a steal because they only charge you for a large drink when you fill up."
Short man with bulging muscles, Incredible-Hulk-style: "Is anyone sitting here?"
Woman in three shades of purple, to bored husband with toothpick in his mouth leafing through Golf Digest: "Look at this chair. Don't you just love this chair?"
Impossibly young girl in killer heels: "So I saved his note so you can see his handwriting. It's girl handwriting. Don't you think so? Isn't there something wrong with a guy who has such girl handwriting?"
Barista: "Erik? I have your caramel apple Americano with salted toffee on the bar..."
High-pitched voice over PA system: "Attention, customers. The store will be closing in fifteen... ten... five minutes. It's time to make your final purchases."