I’m sitting in one of my favorite cafes where I often go to grade papers or write. The food is healthy and varied, and I dig the Jazz playing right now, 1920s Great Gatsby stuff, that will soon shift into Frank, the click of the CD changer almost audible. It’s hard not to snap my fingers, but I tap my feet conspiratorily instead.
The local art on the wall above my head is so expensive and you’d almost want to blow your money on it if it weren’t so damn ugly! But the sun is so warm through the huge ceiling to floor ceilings that everything seems beautiful.
I love this place. I’ve been coming here for years. The owner himself works behind the counter. You’ve got to be in the mood, because if you want to be left alone, it’s not happening until the hugs are doled out and the ‘how-have-you beens’ are answered to satisfaction and you finally find a perfect spot to yourself and wonder why you’ve gone so long between visits. I think I’ll continue to stay here a while, even if the couple next to me hasn't learned to find their ‘inside voices.’
I chose to write here today, because I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to. Word is: It’s closing—can’t compete. I didn’t have the heart to ask. I hear a couple people whispering, but I’m not sure if it’s grumblings or rumors. I hear: “I think they’re getting their liquor license,” perhaps as a wishful hope that something will keep it open. I’m not quite sure how I will get through fall, it’s been my place for so long to come after school.
But as I look around to a pretty packed room, sipping a smoothie and savoring each bite of my hummus platter, I see the laptops and phones filled with noses while cups are empty. I want to say—buy another coffee! Grab a snack! And it dons on me why such a bustling place, alive with all walks of life and topics, mostly politics (it’s hard not to eavesdrop), may not last. People come in to de-socialize, sink into virtual reality, and shut off to turn on. And a cup of Joe under $5 isn’t going to sustain a place like this. Neither is this pumpkin latte I was just given "on the house" with a wave of the hand that tells me the discussion is over. . “You’re too nice,” I say. And it hurts to know how true that truly is. Maybe nice guys do finish last. But I’d choose the nice guy every damn time.