Every time I pass one of those hip, funky, cool coffee joints and see people actually sitting in them, drinking something, making believe they are working on their computers or editing spreadsheets I ask myself, “How do they do that?”
First of all, I am not a coffee snob. I know what I like. A cupa Joe that slaps me in the face, rich, earthy…I want the inside of my mouth to cry when I drink coffee. The few times I’ve been in a fancy-smanchy place I order the darkest coffee they have on tap that day. When I get in line behind people who order frapa,mocha,he-ho,skim, light, no cream, latte-doodles I always start laughing. Seriously. Go eat a candy bar for crying out loud.
Then I think of my grandpa. Gandpa Goodreau, my mom’s dad, who was so poor he drank coffee from the same grounds for like a month and then substituted something else that was brown and really cheap when he ran out of the real stuff. Well, as usual, I digress.
I want to go sit in a coffee shop, write poems, drink tar-black coffee and ignore the people who sit aorund me. I’m serious. I can just never find the time to do it and I know me. I’d look up, see someone interesting-which in my case would be anyone-and start a conversation. Pretty soon I’d be hauling out photos of my kids, inviting them over for Christmas dinner, showing them the scars on my stomach. Coffeee shops, as I see it, are places to socialize, meet people, warm up on the insides and outsides.
So when I see all the people sitting alone and trying not to make eye contact I wonder how they do it. I also have a really hard time not going up to them, pulling down the sleeve of my jacket, and wiping off the foam that’s on their lips from their la-la drinks.