Pasion del Cielo (which means Passion from Heaven in Spanish) — woah thats sexy– is my favorite coffee shop in town. I actually don’t care much for the coffee, im not a huge coffee drinker, but I love the space. comfortable couches, earthy decor and excellent wifi have made me a weekend regular there ever since i started my master’s program in 2016.
i also love people watching (and listening), especially in this part of town. there’s always people from all over the world coming and going. anyway, today was the first time i’ve ever been at Pasion on a monday. I was curious if it would be empty since monday is a working man’s day! no time for leisure coffee dates, right? very wrong. tons of people have plenty of time for coffee mid-day on monday. young guys, professional ladies, older ladies, older gents, children, college students, myself. you name it, they all entered the corner shop’s doors and made their way to the cashier to get some sort of coffee concoction. i’ll be honest, monday’s visitors are particularly aesthetically pleasing (read: guys in suits) and i was really enjoying the eye candy. then these two men, early-to-mid 30s, one a police officer and the other a hottie in a suit, came to sit directly in front of me. Pasion is a great spot, but it is certainly not large or spacious by any stretch of the imagination. adds to that community feeling, i guess. so lucky for me, these two dudes were about an arm’s length away.
first things first, i was eavesdropping. i think they were old friends catching up. one guy was obviously corporate, the other, the police officer, muscular and with hints of tattoos hiding under his uniform sleeve. his voice was gruff and he fit the “Miami Cop” profile: tough, arrogant (sorry!) and macho. his radio kept murmuring dispatcher’s voices, impeding my casual eavesdropping of the conversation between the two. but then the really important thing happened….Officer Gruff gets a call on his cell phone and this conversation I can hear loud and clear. Officer Gruff must have some sort of leadership position in the force and I can tell he is speaking to one of his guys, possibly a new recruit about a recent situation. The genuine, sweet support from Officer Gruff just melted my nosy little heart! I heard him say “Good job man. You did great out there. I am really impressed by your work ethic. I know someone else would have driven off, but you stayed and that says a lot about you. Again, great work out there.”
in today’s america, its become increasingly hard to turn away from the systematic injustices and underlying bias that permeates interactions with law enforcement. i think people are scared, upset and feel disposable. i know for a fact that many law enforcement officers are courageous heroes who encounter countless dangers every day. once upon a time i loved one very very much. but i also know some terrible people who made it through the police academy and now find themselves with access to guns and somewhat guaranteed impunity. but in today’s coffee shop i saw a young leader trying to keep his guys motivated, encouraging the right type of attitude and showing a little bit of vulnerability to tell his new guy that he is a worthy and valued member of the force. i know i was eavesdropping, but it put a huge grin on my face.
cheers to the young men and women in uniform who can face incredible uncertainty, day in and day out, and still remain humble and wholehearted.