It’s time to talk about my new obsession. His name is Phil. He’s cute, stylish, friendly, successful and makes a mean Mint Mojito iced coffee. I also love his Avocado Toast.

I’ve been seeing Phil almost every day. It’s taken great will power on my part to stay away. I tell myself he’s too expensive, that I have other things to do, that it’s embarrassing to go every day.

But I go any way.

Before Phil came to town, there was some buzz. I didn’t pay attention because I had never heard of him. My friends told me he’s amazing. That I would be addicted. Especially when he made me his swoon-worthy iced coffees and toast.

Pfft. Don’t my friends know I’m picky as fuck? I need to be courted, impressed and won over.

I kept hearing more buzz. Then I heard I could check Phil out for free.

Hmmm…well maybe I’ll go see what all this talk is about. I mean, as long as the line isn’t too long. I don’t want to look desperate.

So I go meet Phil. The line is longer than I want. And all the free parking is gone.

Well I’m already here. Might as well see what he’s about.

I get in line and meet some peeps already indoctrinated by Phil. They’re nice, clean with good jobs.

The line gets longer. It’s now around the block. I pat myself on the back for getting here when I did.

Phil sends people out with water and free food. There’s no way there’s enough for everyone. But more and more people come out with trays, thanking us for being here to welcome Phil.

I see Avocado Toast, which always sounded pretentious to me. But there it is, staring me in the face, asking not to be judged.

I pop one in my mouth prepared for it to be as dull as it sounds. But it’s not. Fucking Phil has made the simplest of treats bring me to my knees in appreciation. When the next tray comes out, I and my new friends in line, pretend we didn’t just eat several samples.

For some reason, waiting in line in with the sun beating down on us, isn’t so bad.

When I’m finally inside, I’m greeted with even friendlier faces and asked if I need a run-down on the menu.

No. I’ve done my research. I’m not looking like an asshole in front of Phil.

I order my Mint Mojito Iced Coffee. I wait and take in the scene. Phil has great taste in decor. He even built power strips into the tables.

I’m staring to fall for Phil.

I get my drink. I sip and almost moan out load from ecstasy.

When I go to pay, the cashier says, “Today everything is FREE. As much as you want.”

Fuck me. I’m in love with Phil. How did it happen so fast?

I think it’s because Phil is one smart, savvy mother fucker.

He could have taken out expensive, glossy ads all over town announcing his arrival. Written by even more expensive ad people who try to capture his voice, but can’t.

He could have reminded us how amazing everyone in The Bay Area, San Diego and Washington D.C. thinks he is. How he made them addicts with his unique spin on something so-not-unique. How he has dog bowls filled with water and dog treats on the counter.

But Phil knew that the best way to create a frenzy was to give it away. Give the people all the things while being as nice as possible. Because they’ll be excited, surprised and start texting their friends. They’ll take pics of how long the line is, what food is being given out, the badass outdoor area and their pour-over drinks that didn’t require a machine. Yes, that’s right. Phil doesn’t do machines. He’s totally hands-on.

And as I’m sure Phil predicted, the lines continued every day after.

(P.S. If you’re not aware who Phil is, he’s Philz Coffee, which now has a location in downtown Sacramento).

Photo by IRENE COCO on Unsplash