Helen’s holiday started early. She left her apartment at 3:32 a.m., got to the coffee shop at 4:26 a.m., began filling the salt-and-pepper shakers at 4:39 a.m. and was pouring coffee for customers at 5:02 a.m.
She shouted the first order to the cooks at 5:09 a.m.
“Two scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, home fries and whole-wheat toast.”
“Breakfast is my business on Thanksgiving,” Helen said. “Some people are roasting turkeys and baking pumpkin pies, but I’m here serving bacon and eggs and pancakes and cheese omelets.
“This is always a busy morning,” she continued. “I think some of the guys just like to fill up on their gossip before going home to a family dinner.”
At 6:02 a.m. the counter was elbow-to-elbow and the baseball talk was wall-to-wall.
“I was hoping for some new pitchers to go along with my turkey dinner,” someone said. “What’s taking so long with these free agents?”
“You’ve gotta be patient,” someone else said. “We need a good rotation on Opening Day not on Turkey Day.”
“We also need a bat,” someone said. “What about getting Teixeira?”
Helen interrupted at 6:07 a.m.
“Would you guys like some more coffee?” she asked.
“That sounds good,” they all said.
The conversation quickly restarted:
“Do you guys think Abreu is coming back?”
Helen rolled her eyes at 6:08 a.m.
She only has about nine hours to go.