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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


Last week, the buzz around the water cooler was the Mega Million (you have to say that part with a loud boomy ecoey voice). Everyone talked about buying a ticket and the things they'd do or buy. Chris and I used to play this game. He would say "if we won the lottery, what kind of car would you buy?". I usually picked something like a Mini Cooper or a convertible VW Bug. Today, if asked it would probably be the new Fiat. My car choices never ceased to amuse Chris because I never chose anything extravagant. I could by any car I wanted, but I always chose something reasonable. A co-worker asked me last week what I'd do if I won the Mega Million. I think he was a little disappointed in my answer, because, once again, I chose a reasonable route. My plan used to be simple: pay off all debts and save the rest for travel. Pay off all debts means all family debt. My parents, my brother and sister would no longer need to worry about bills or retirement. I would not quit my job, but I would take early retirement. But then as I was walking back to work the other day after dropping off the V for her new tire, I remembered the coffee shop pictured above. When Chris and I first noticed it, we were both smitten with it. Then we realized that it's closed. It's been closed all this time and remains that way today. It always has that "could it be open?" look because some times there are cars there. There's a University across the street and the coffee shop is a convenient free space. What's a bit eerie is that everything is as it should be inside. It looks like the barrista working that night closed up for the night and then no one ever came back. They just walked away.

If I won the lottery, I would buy that shop. I would hire someone really good to run the place. I would hire people who really needed a job, people who have had a hard time finding a job because they live on the street or out of their car. We would offer really great coffees like Americanos and espressos and lattes at the usual prices but also always have a carafe of good coffee with a "pay what you can" price. We would sell baked goods from local bakers and if you walked into my shop hungry with no money, you would be guaranteed a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. We would be open for late night study sessions and have space for knitting clubs. All would be welcome. Except mean people. The hateful and rude can find coffee elsewhere.

That's what I'd do if I won the lottery.