Epoch Cafe is dead to me.  Dead.  Choked on an muffin, blue in the corner, eyes bulging out of their sockets dead to me.

I tried.  God knows I tried to like this place.  My building even gets a 10% discount at Epoch, and it’s the closest cafe on a Sunday morning when putting on a cap and running downstairs for a coffee and an English muffin should be easier than making breakfast at home.

I used to give a place one shot.  Just one.  Make me happy and I’m loyal.  Make me sad and I’ll never set foot inside your establishment.  Piss me off and I’ll burn the fucking place down.  OK, not really.  In my mind I show up with gasoline, a match and an evil laugh.

My partner has taught me, tried to teach me, not to be so critical and “mean” all the time, so I give places and “people” a second chance, another shot.  Epoch’s English muffins with scrambled eggs and spinach are quite good too.  They’re cheap even without the discount.  If the service weren’t out of a North Korean gulag, I’d be there every freakin’ morning.

But no.  I go to the nearby Pacific Coffee Shop nearly every weekday morning.  The music is Ella Fitzgerald’s and James Taylor’s love child is Norah Jones so I like the place.  Yes, it’s a ubiquitous Hong Kong chain.  Yes, I dislike chain restaurants.  Yes, I should go to someplace more ma and pa.  But Jesus, if ma and pa are drooling idiots with shark teeth, spiky hair and an open-mouthed grimace while they work the cash register, you can forget it.  I’d rather go to a chain.  Besides, I’d never actually eat inside of Epoch.  The interior is not comfy at all.  It’s Soviet Union chic with CD racks and overpriced sodas.

But Sunday was the last straw.  I waited for fifteen minutes for two lousy muffins with scrambled eggs and spinach.  My Japanese restaurant fiasco fresh on my mind, I decided it would be better not to ruin the rest of my day by turning green and shredding my clothes in public.  I did ask where my order was when a group of locals who ordered after me got their breakfast first.

Imagine my limited surprise but overwhelming anger when I got home and the order was wrong.  Ham.  Ham everywhere.  As a meat eater, I might enjoy the extra protein.  But since I don’t eat meat, I was just pissed.  Seething really.  My partner likes to defend everyone but me in any occasion where I get upset so I’ve learned over the years it’s best not to make a big deal about it.  He’ll just piss me off more by defending them.  I made  a cheese quesadilla and called it a morning.