That day he tried a new coffee shop. It was relatively new and a little bit outside of what could be considered core downtown. A nearly flawless interior design complimented the 100-year-old building, with exposed brick peeking through decades-old layers of plaster. The tables were all handmade wood. The chairs all mismatched but somehow collectively in perfect continuity with their surroundings.
Ceramic cups were the default. To-go had to be requested. A mug was a medium. There was no large. The coffee was local but no-nonsense. Strong but smooth. No thin brews with "fruit notes" here.
Joseph was well pleased.
He sat and sipped and scribbled. He read the paper. He read his meticulously chosen two books. (He was careful to only ever read two books at a time, but had a digital collection of hundreds of unread books.)
It was a little bit cold inside, just the way he liked it.
And then he saw her. He hadn't noticed her walk in, but in an eye-resting glance towards the bar, he saw her pick up her coffee and tip-toe towards a seat.
Joseph had never been in love before. He was confused by the chemical changes occurring in his body and mind. It wasn't the coffee.