I am sitting here at The Grind, a downtown coffee shop that, incidentally sells great panini lunches and conveniently has wireless internet. I just finished making grammar fun (I hope - did you know ghoti spells fish?) for my college comms class, and normally I'd be heading home to edit. But Anna won her class speaking competition and is participating in the school competition today at 1:30, and she has invited me to go. Since I am not going home only to turn around and come back (the joys of living in the country), I thought I'd spend an hour editing here instead.
Except....that's not what I am doing, is it.
And why not? Because I am nosy, and I'm far more interested in the people around me than I am in working. It's very distracting. Those three in the corner...business colleagues, or old friends out for a long-overdue lunch. And the man by the fireplace...in for a coffee because he's retired and this is a nice place to get away for an hour, or because he has nowhere else to go? The two young girls in thigh high leather boots and short skirts...trendy entrepreneurs or best friends skipping class?
Oh, I don't eavesdrop - I am above that - but snippets of conversation do float across the rom from time to time, and it fascinates me, probably more than it should, to hear what people are talking about, and to try and piece together not who they are, but who they could be. There is potential in everyone. It is no wonder writers write in coffee shops.
I've always had this fascination with cafe's. The Green Bean in Halifax was the first one I was introduced to back when I first spent summers in that amazing city with the navy. People played chess in the corners, and there was organic fair trade coffee way, way, WAY before it was mainstream. And artsy or subversive student newspapers full of idealism. Loved that spot, though I was never edgy enough to really fit in. The Cave too - for late night coffee and cheesecake where we talked about philosophy and politics deep into the night by the light of dripping wax candles in ancient wine bottles. Do people still do that? It seems so long ago.
Or the little coffee house (can't recall it's name) on Duckworth STreet in Saint Johns, NFLD, where I went every morning for two weeks to drink their strong house blend, eat a blueberry muffin, and write while I was in the city on an exercise.
Cafe Du Monde in Quebec City. The Bagel place in Kitsilano, Vancouver (where I first had bagels covered in baked-in asiago cheese - Mmm!) So many great coffee shops. So many great places to sit and people watch.