Posts Tagged ‘Coffee Shop’

Did it really happen? And, was it only yesterday? It already seems such a distant memory. But yes, it happened and, although it does seem many moons ago, it was, somehow, only the day before today.

The mission: to transport five children, one of them being my daughter, to a trail for a school fieldtrip. Our destination: a route approximately 34 kilometers, or 21 miles, away from my house. Their plan: to hike from 10 ‘til 2. My goal: to throw them from the moving vehicle.

Oh, I kid, I kid.

Of course I stopped the car first. I even made sure they were supervised before I sped off. You see? Solid parenting, folks. You saw it here.

Yes, I could’ve hiked. Yes, I could’ve helped, but I also could’ve snuck off to write away the hours in a cozy bistro with a caffeinated cappuccino. I’m sure you understand my inner war…that would be the one I’m simulating. In reality, there was no battle.

Writing outside of the house is a very different experience for me than writing at home. Take all the of the still available distractions such as, ahem, the Internet, and add to that the opportunity to people watch, one of my favorite addictions pastimes, and I still find myself more focused, not to mention less guilty. I don’t feel like I should be paying bills, vacuuming, doing laundry or participating in any of the usual time-suckers.

Minus the spell I spent being awesomely responsible, I had a decadent three hours to write a short story that I consider fairly contest worthy. And alright, I admit to a pinch of peeping.

I couldn’t help myself. It was amazing to see these people file in one after another, cramming the at first empty bistro in that sleepy village of 3400, not to mention how many of them had a touch more than a glass of wine with their soup de jour.

No judgment. Just jealousy.

Where do you like to write?

Beatniks Bistro

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I sit outside a coffee shop on callous concrete, hoping someone will give me something, anything, money, food, a coffee, kindness, but it’s bitter out and they are all understandably numb.

Men in unyielding suits talk on their phones and hold doors for capable people. I watch women with big hair chatter and chide, wrinkle their noses and throw half full cups into the trash as they skip away.

Not one looks at me and too, feel less.

I cup my hands ‘round my mouth and savor the small touch of hospitality my warm breath provides. The air gets colder, my muscles stiffer, as time ticks on. I sit motionless, unable to think of much else other than where I’ll be in a few hours.

“Hey, can you hang on to my dog?” My body tenses at the unexpected voice so close to me.

I look at the little curly haired dog, and up at the little curly haired boy.

“I need to grab something real quick and he can’t run super fast, so if you’d just hold him for me…”

“No problem,” I agree, not sure what choice I have as the half-pint runs off without waiting for an answer.

The dog climbs up onto my lap. His belly is like a hot water bottle, his sandy fur a cozy coat. He stretches upwards and licks my face, his tongue soft and velvety. I feel myself loosen a little, a strained elastic slipping back to its natural state.

The very next person to come out hands me a five-dollar bill.

“Say no to drugs.” he laughs half serious, the next, a cup of steaming coffee and a few crumpled bills. “Cute pup,’” she smiles. “Buy him a treat!”

By the time the boy returns, I’ve had a sandwich, a conversation and the shake of a hand. A shop employee even leaves a bowl full of fresh water for the dog and a handful of broken cookie bits.

“Thanks for watching Jack,” the boy’s tone is raspy, breathless. “It would’ve taken me way longer if I’d had to drag him along.”

He hands me a somewhat grizzly sleeping bag and a greyish pillow. “Here, they’re yours.” he tells me.

“What? No,” I say, shocked. “Where did you get these?”

“I gotta go,” he says, grabbing the dog. “I can come back tomorrow though. People are way more generous when Jack’s around.”

He takes off so quickly I barely have time to notice his dirty fingernails, his hoodie full of holes or Jack effortlessly keeping up alongside him.

What I do notice as they trot off, is that I now feel more.

homeless boy and dog

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