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'True Detective' Writer Nic Pizzolatto Orders Coffee at a Local Starbucks

By Dustin Rowles | True Detective | August 4, 2015 |


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[Nic Pizzolatto walks up to the counter of a Starbucks in a strip mall in Burbank, California. A young 22-year-old Starbucks Barista waits on him. After PIzzolatto stares at the menu, as though staring into a void, the Barista speaks.]

Starbucks Barista: Can I get you something to drink, mister?

Pizzolatto: I am not comfortable imposing my will on anyone, and I haven’t been since 1978.

SB … It’s OK, sir. It’s my job.

Pizzolatto … [stares blankly]

SB: What are you looking at, sir?

Pizzolatto: [snaps to, as though from a trance] It’s these moments, they stare back at you. You don’t remember them, but they remember you. Turn around, there they are, staring.

SB: [turns around, doesn’t see anything unusual. Turns back around and faces Pizzolatto] I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir. I don’t see anything staring. Now, look mister. Are you going to order something, or do I need to ask my manager to come over?

Pizzolatto: Innuendo is nobody’s friend.

SB: What? You’re being a real pain in my ass.

Pizzolatto: Pain is inexhaustible. It’s only people that get exhausted.

SB: Yeah, well, I’m fucking exhausted with you.

Pizzolatto: That’s what pain does. It shows you what was on the inside.

SB: Look, asshole. I’m getting really irritated with you right now. I’m not even supposed to be here. My shift was over 20 minutes ago.

Pizzolatto: You don’t do somebody else’s time.

SB: Look! Can I get you something to drink or not? Is there anything I can help you with before I call my manager?

Pizzolatto: I just don’t know how to be out in the world, man.

SB: Yeah, well, I’m really sorry about that. But it’s not my problem, and I’m having a hard time controlling my irritation with you.

Pizzolatto: Sometimes your worst self is your best self.

SB: Yeah, well, my “worst self” is about to climb over this bar and kick your ass.

Pizzolatto: Sometimes a good beating provokes personal growth.

SB: Oh My Fucking God, dude. Do you want a fucking cup of coffee or not?

Pizzolatto: There’s a certain stridency at work here.

SB: You’re getting on my last nerve.

Pizzolatto: I’m feeling a little apoplectic myself.

SB: There are people waiting in line behind you! Do. You. Want. A. Cup. Of. Coffee?!

Pizzolatto: Listen, coffee girl …

SB: Don’t call me girl.

Pizzolatto: I don’t mean anything by it. Just so you know, I support feminism, mostly by having body image issues.

SB: What the fuck?

Pizzolatto: I am sensing some hostility in your voice. In fact, your entire personality is an extended criticism of my values meant, I’m sure, to compel me into engagement through argument. Do you even like what you do, or is it just a reflection of urge toward authority out of defiance?

SB: I’m not defying anyone. I’m just trying to make a few bucks so I can pay my rent so I don’t end up homeless and out on the street.

PIzzolatto: We get the world we deserve.

Sensing the barista’s anger rising, the Starbucks shift manager — a burly man in his mid-30s — walks over and interrupts.

Manager: Can I help you with something, sir?

PIzzolatto: I can’t help but notice that you have one of the largest auras I’ve ever seen. Green and black. It’s been taking up this whole room. I just … I had to say something.

Manager: Please don’t. I’m going to have to ask you to leave now.

PIzzolatto: Ugh, it breaks my blue heart-balls.

Manager: And don’t come back into my store again. If you do, I’ll butt-fuck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn.


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