I tend to fumble my way through life. I’m convinced that the only reason that I’m where I’m at today, without having suffered amazing failure, is good luck. You see, for a man who lives mostly in his head, the world is a treacherous place.
Somewhere in the inner recesses of the grey matter of my brain, my life takes place. I’m living it daily, with a sense of security and meaningfulness. Fantastic conversations are taking place at the local coffee shop. People are brought together serendipitously, and are regularly conquering dreams. There is a happiness about it all, and the world really is a magical and wonderful place.
This really is where my life is led: in a coffee shop in my head. There, people are writing novels that inspire, plays that are poignant and timeless, and poems that unearth the emotions that evoke life. Everybody drinks espresso in tiny cups, for hours. There are no computers sitting between people, and friends are made by simply occupying a vacant seat.
Everybody has time. People are patient with one another, and listen carefully before responding. All ideas are shared, and all ideas are discussed. These regulars are calibrated people, completely aware of the world that they have created and live in. They co-exist harmoniously. People are willingly vulnerable, because the milieu is safe.
But this security is upset by visitors, stopping through for a coffee while on their way to somewhere else. The social conventions are unusual to anybody who has come to visit, and the regulars at my coffee shop are not dynamic and enterprising people. So set in their ways are these regulars, that adjusting to ingratiate newcomers is nearly impossible.
Even with all of the visitors, and the regulars, this coffee shop is a quiet place. There are only about six seats, and two tables. The counter service is slow, and the hours are erratic. You will always get what you ordered, but it won’t necessarily be as you remembered it. Nobody ever goes back for the coffee, but it’d be hard to deny that there is a draw to the idiosyncratic quaintness of the place. There’s always a hum emanating from the walls.
Sometimes, too, the regulars leave to go visit other places. Hopeful and confident, they set out beyond the borders of the town, looking for other coffee shops where they might find a warm seat and a decent cup of coffee. Becoming a visitor is the only change they undergo.
They quickly lose their confidence, overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of a place that is so unfamiliar to them. In the noise, they retreat into their memories of the coffee shop. Sometimes they scream, trying to be heard through the noise. But, it isn’t noisy for the people who are regulars there, and my coffee shop regulars are just being disruptive visitors.
They can’t help but feel shame in those moments of weakness.
And, you know, if nobody ever left my coffee shop they wouldn’t ever come back with something to write about.
I’m not entirely happy with this post, but I thought I’d put it up anyway. I’m going to come back to this idea, and work through it more thoughtfully. Anyway, here it is, as it is, for now. I hope you enjoy.