It’s a Tuesday morning. And she finally gets to do this. Just sit in a café and write and sip a cappuccino with chocolate sprinkled on top. How many times she’s walked by her own favorite café on her way to work…longing for a time when she could be so carefree as to just stop, sit, sip, and write. Now here she is. Still a bit tired from the nights of work…a different kind of work…she takes it in. Trying to squeeze out as much joy as possible.
Part of her longs for the sleeping man back at the flat. But the nights are for him and his art. The mornings, maybe, can be for hers. She could get used to this. Bopping around from place to place, city to city. Soaking in the nightlife as he shares his talents and his voice with all those who will listen. Her, waking up early to make time to find her own voice. If you have a story inside, you must get it out. She read that recently; some famous dude said it. But it sounds right.
Her man accepts the exclamations of congrats and great job after each gig, but she knows he still second guesses, still holds on to the insecurities. It probably helps keep him going, keep him besting himself…but she wishes he could bask in the awareness of his talents, like she does. Maybe someday. Maybe once he’s reached his definition of success.
This coffee shop is the best. It’s what coffee shops are supposed to be. A jade plant is thriving by the window, under the “Sorry, we’re open” sign. Lamp shades made of coffee cups sprinkle the ceiling, a couple stuffed monkeys hang from them listlessly in perpetuity. A sign exclaims, “my heart is yours, but do you want it?” in neon script atop a wall of black line drawings. Each detail, carefully crafted, adds to the coffee-ist of coffee shop vibes. Down to the “push it, push it real good,” message on the front door — and of course the couches, one of which she’s sunk into comfortably as she writes. Goswell Road Coffee in Clerkenwell. A worthwhile stop.
She can’t tell if her romantic notions of this place are real or imagined. Who cares, either way. She’s always felt this way about coffee shops. It’s the writer in her. The shop swells and contracts with customers on repeat. Londoners stopping in for a hit of caffeine on the way to work. Or on their way to somewhere, hopefully for some it’s a place more glamorous than the daily grind. A woman walks in with a kitten in the front pouch of her sweatshirt, waits for her tea, and then sits at a table preoccupied with a device as the kitten plays on the table. A tuxedo, just like her own.
In the flat, even the slightest sound is a distraction, but here the buzz and commotion help her focus. A handful of languages, the hiss of the espresso machine, clank of cups, and the calming yet upbeat instrumentals playing overhead create the soundtrack Goswell. She soaks it in, letting it penetrate deep inside, hopefully awakening something…a courage, perhaps, to follow her romantic notions more often.
A mother asks her 4-year-old, “Do you find it scary, or do you think you might find it exhilarating?” He promptly shrieks.
Scary and exhilarating. That’s where the magic is, she thinks. When you find both, run toward whatever it is.