An exercise in Wallflowering
A corner coffee shop.
Literally, a corner coffee shop. Surrounded by other neighborhood establishments, topped by condos, and across from row houses and brownstones.
In town living at it’s best… and just as I always imagine it to be.
Everyone in this place walked here.
Walked here from home, not from their parked car like I did. I envy every single one of them.
Drip is small and cozy and you better get here before 9:30 am or you will not have a table.
You’ll have to settle for a sofa or an easy chair or getting a table outside. It’s not quite warm enough for all of that yet. But those who crave the fresh, crisp, overcast, damp-ish air and are thankful for temperatures in the low 60s will chance it. Plus… table.
Those of us sitting at a table alone… we are all sitting the same way.
Facing the windows. In a row like a classroom.
Facing the light is smart… aside from the spiritual implications, it minimizes the glare on the laptop screen.
Because we all have laptops with our coffee cups on the right.
We are Stepford entrepreneurs.
Currently, I’m not entrepreneuring… I’m observing.
I like to see. I’m looking at everything inside and outside.
It’s like the quaint little urban coffee shop in a movie where the protagonist and their love interest or their sidekick meet… or sometimes all three. When you see this place and all of its hipness and coolness, you wonder if it really exists or is it all staged.
And if it’s real… you want to find it.
And when you find it, you want to sit at their table and be “them” for an hour or two.
The clientele is a melting pot.
Every ethnicity, gender, orientation, and age.
There’s been a dog. And a cat. (I’ve never seen a “coffee shop cat” before.)
The only group that has not made an appearance is children… but there are places for them to sit should they show up.
I feel like such an outsider.
An intruder… an infiltrator… an impostor.
Like I’m taking up someone’s regular spot. This is a place that would have regulars and they would most certainly have regular spots.
I know I’m sitting at someone’s table.
I bet they can smell the suburbs on me. I reek of tourist.
But maybe they also catch the faint aroma of the city girl who craves this environment as her suburb address was forced upon her by necessity, not desire.
Whether out of pity or natural southern hospitality, I’m silently permitted to borrow the bliss.