Monday, July 9, 2018


Watching the coffee shop buzz like New Orleans during a heat wave, I began to wonder what brought curiously different people to one location. The espresso strong in smell and taste; the room roaring with conversation. To my right, I see a stern woman tutoring a seemingly frustrated scholar. To my left, I witness an elderly couple holding hands while they share a steaming hot latte. In the far corner, computers are lined up in unison like racehorses at the starting line. Personally, I refer to these patrons as “the clickers” because of the sound it makes when they are click, click, click the keys on their high-priced technology. This sound echoes through the coffee shop as does the screaming noise of the espresso machine. The aroma is intoxicatingly raw as the barista passes my table with a vanilla chai. Light jazz music plays in the background making the atmosphere cozy. The more I study the room, the more I see different eyes staring back at me. I'm alone, drinking my overly priced iced coffee. The man by the door talks loudly to a familiar face as he waits for his order. I finish my coffee and order another. "The clickers" are down a few racehorses which lowers the clicking sounds. The music seems louder now. My eyes meet another women like myself. She quickly looks back to her book as if she wasn't watching the room just moments before. Rain begins to sprinkle onto the metal roof. Those outside fill the small square room to max capacity. It feels warm now and the music gives off a busy vibe as it is drowning with people talking over one another. I wait for others to leave; hoping the rain will keep more from participating. It's my favorite spot for coffee that is too strong to drink. The taste burns my mouth. It settles deep into my lips and licking them doesn't matter. The coffee is raw. Raw doesn't always taste delightful. Raw is the thing we hope we will like but we never do. But ordering the same thing in faith that one day will can handle raw. I chock down my caffeine believing that something will grow in me from it. My stomach aches. My eyes widen. It's what we're all here for. The chase. The gut feeling that we are nothing more than our experiences. The elderly couple have left leaving a half-filled cup behind. I guess that's all they need. "They will be back," I think to myself. I question my sanitation as I consider grabbing the remains of their drink. If I drink it, will I gain what they treasure? My thoughts evaporate as the worker cleans the table. "My chance is gone," I whisper. The mellow environment returns into the small space as some leave and some arrive. Two fresh visitors kick back shots of espresso; letting out a large "Ahhh" as they swallow the toxic concoction. You can see it in their eyes as the elements run a dreadful course. They're going to feel alive after this.

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