About two weeks ago, my wife and I were visiting Portland for our anniversary. I was up early on Sunday morning, so I ambled down Exchange Street to a local shop for a coffee.

A bit later, I was standing next to a complete stranger, passing the milk and sugar. Unlike me, he was on his way to work. He also wasn’t “from away.” He was a bit grizzled with his battered backpack, watch cap, scuffed boots and Carhartt jacket.

We stood quietly stirring our coffee when he looked at me. I thought he was going to ask me to pass him something.

“I can’t believe (Susan) Collins voted for that goddamn (tax) bill,” he said.

“I thought she was going to hold out,” I replied. “We only got (Bob) Corker.”

“(John) McCain … (Jeff) Flake … they all caved,” he said as he put the lid back on his cup.

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s the money,” he said. “It’s always the money.”

He sipped his coffee, than raised his paper cup as if he were making a toast. “Bastards,” he cursed as he turned and walked out the door.

So if Sen. Susan Collins is listening out there, she should consider this: Two strangers met in a coffee shop in Portland. One was from New Jersey, and the other was her constituent, but we knew that she and her party sold us both out. We aren’t alone. She has a problem. And the problem is bigger than two strangers agreeing about taxes in a coffee shop in Maine.

Kevin Akey

Little Silver, N.J.