The Coffee Shop

I take a sip of my cinnamon flavored latte. The sickly sweetness of the syrup offset by the rich bitterness of the dark espresso. Luckily my favorite chair, by the fireplace, is vacant. The ultra-suede still slightly imprinted with the shape of it’s last occupant. As I remove my gloves and toss my jacket carelessly across one of the arms, I catch the eye of one of the girls at the next table over. She gives me the quick smile of one stranger acknowledging another and continues chatting with her friend.

I tuck my feet up under myself and open my book. The guy beside me is engrossed in a copy of Orwell’s 1984. He casually sips his Styrofoam-encased coffee while idly turning a page. With a gust of cold air the door opens and a young girl joins him at his table. Her enthusiasm is a deep contrast to his relaxed demeanor. She tells him of her band practice for church, her plans for her next years education including a semester abroad and maybe a mission in the summer, if she can find an internship first, to pay for all the incidentals. Her speech is peppered with interjections (such as “like”), making it hard to concentrate on the meaning of her sentences.

I smile and think of a recent conversation with a good friend, worrying about her vocabulary. “I need to work on my vernacular,” she laughed, “I mean, I still say “like” and I’m doing my masters in Sociology. Maybe I should enroll in English 0130.”

There’s a man typing away on his laptop, barely audible over the coffee house music, a pacifying blend of piano chords and string instruments. His glasses are neatly folded and placed on a book beside him. Every so often he gets up for a cigarette, for a refill, for a bathroom break. The intensity with which he is concentrating on his screen reminds me of my boss filling his financial reports and I imagine this man is doing the same.

A girl heaves into a chair across the room, sighing loudly as she places her text book down. I recognize her as the girl who made my latte. She works here a few days a week while she’s in University studying chemistry, economics or perhaps philosophy. The free coffee and quiet place to study almost make up for the endless parade of odd people she deals with on a daily basis.

I pull my gloves and jacket on, in preparation for the chill that awaits me outside. It’s not yet snowing though there’s the feeling of snow in the air. The quiet, crisp cold and lack of clouds almost guarantee the morning will bring the brightness of a new snow. I adjust my jacket and step outside, the soft chords following me as I make my way up the street, back home.

25 responses

  1. What a great piece of writing. I felt like I was there. 🙂

  2. very beautifully written.writing your own little memoir? you should

  3. You’ve brought people watching alive in such a way I’ve never seen before. Really well-written!

  4. I really love when you do posts like this. More please!

  5. People watching is so much fun.

  6. That could have been my morning! I’m relaxed just reading this.

  7. Beautiful. You can definately write.

  8. Pretty good Alice. Pretty good.

  9. Wow. I felt like I was actually sitting there looking around. You are very talented.

  10. Love people watching! Great post… it makes me want to run across the street to Starbucks and cozy up to the fire with a good book and a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (skim milk, extra whipped cream), my personal favorite.Too bad I’m supposed to be “working.” 😦

  11. This is why I love coffee shops. And I quite like cinnamon-flavored lattes, too.

  12. When I people watch, they’re usually in the shower.

  13. I really like this! More please. And you’re making me feel really guilty about this novel I’ve been working on for the last 12 months.

  14. There’s a coffe shop not named Starbucks?The terrorists have won.

  15. I need to spend some time relaxing and people watching in a coffee shop soon. Peppermint Mocha Twist at the airport doesn’t count…

  16. i take note of the people sitting around me as i type and write and blog….normally i’m the quiet/reader/typer interrupted by an insipid female….other times i’m looking around at the cute girls.

  17. I agree with Ben. More!

  18. I really like this post, you've done a great job bringing the scene to life. I'm from Calgary too, & tagged you on my blog post today, check it out;)

  19. I felt like I was there. Well done!

  20. makes me want to be a better writer. i have lots of work to do. I am going to start with my capitalization of the correct words, it is just laziness that i don’t do this already! Thank you.

  21. makes me want to be a better writer. i have lots of work to do. I am going to start with my capitalization of the correct words, it is just laziness that i don’t do this already! Thank you.

  22. really enjoyed this…

  23. Man I hate when i post comments twice. Not sure if you do these or not, yet I put you on the blog for the book worm forward/award. Its fun so check it out. Notice the caps, I am working on it.

  24. I have never enjoyed reading something that so thouroughly wasted my time as this. As well as it was written, I learned absolutely nothing. perfect blog post!slop

  25. oh little made me feel like i was there.beautifully written.

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