Rummaging through bags of fan mail was met with inquisition as to why I spend an infinite amount of time in cafes:
It’s peaceful to sit adjacent to little kids who allow their parents to run their mouths amok as to how cute the kids are. I mean, did you notice how cute the kids are, or do you need your eyelids glued open to get a better look at mini Uggs that match mommy’s ignorance for taste?
I like to nestle next to the straw and napkin dispensers when sitting at the bar top. It affords the chance to smell the bodies and breath of locals. I also catch wind of any complaints about the consistency and amount of mayo as well as compliments paid to baristas who have come into their own in learning to make an espresso that is hot versus cold to lukewarm.
I’m socially awkward by nature, so naturally I gravitate toward places I can engage in small talk with beautiful girls who are fifteen to twenty years younger. It’s not that I feel like a lonely, washed-up, and middle-aged man-child who orders bacon, egg, and cheese 97.6% of the time… or is it.
Catching eyes with another man from across the room who appears unstable, disheveled, and off kilter is always a precious moment. I could conjure thoughts of living out my days as this man’s pet who lives in some undisclosed subterranean quarters, but it’s likely to be fine. He’s probably just here for the bacon, egg, and cheese too.
Doing work in a cafe makes me feel accomplished, as if I don’t need to be in a corner office wearing a power suit at 11:00 on a Monday morning. I’m successful enough to be sipping a medium sized coffee with a dash of whole milk with my flip-flops dangling from the stool footing.
I can be wicked and revel in the fact others receive erred or wrong orders . Not only does your allergy to tomatoes make you less of a man, Mr. Crocs with a tucked-in shirt, but you must endure my inner cackles of laughter as you stand there, waiting…hoping…for another sandwich sans tomatoes. Does this man’s lunchtime agony silence the inner demons slowly scratching away at the belly of my soul? No, but it sure helps and entertains me too.
All the noise at varying decibels helps me concentrate. I could plug along, writing whatever drivel is needed in a noiseless bliss, yet the cafe offers screaming baristas, beeping machines, whining patrons, and unruly kids. One day I will be burned to a crisp and sit on a mantle before placed in my eternal resting place along with a VHS tape of Back to the Future and a Cabbage Patch Kid in a humid, soundproof attic, and I will miss all the noise.