Saturday, February 27, 2010

Coffee Shop

I have a secret. One I've never shared before.

Some day I want to be a coffee shop dwelling writer. I haven't decided yet if I want to be the sketchy person perched in the corner silently observing or the social butterfly who hops tables from the time the coffee shop opens until it closes. I don't know but I'm willing to set aside my dislike for coffee and hatred for the lingering coffee shop smell to achieve this goal.

The long process towards reaching this goal began on Wednesday. I had a nice chunk of free time in the afternoon. My plan was to do go right after lunch, do homework until my meeting at 3:30, finish the meeting quickly, and then write for fun until dinner.

Around 1:45 I walked in to the coffee shop and ordered my favorite drink: a decaf peppermint mocha. Lucky for me, my punch card was full so I got a free venti! Normally I order a tall, so I figured the venti would last me until dinner. It didn't but that's ok. See! I'm on my way to being a coffee drinker!

I found an open table and for the next hour or so I worked relatively diligently. Of course, I did take a break from preparing for my poetry workshop to enjoy some people watching or have a short chat but nothing too substantial.

That is until Jessica found me. I knew I was in trouble when she pulled out the chair and sat down across the table from me. By this point it was about 2:30 and my homework wasn't done yet. She had a coffee date at 3, so I didn't panic. I could still use that last half hour to finish my work and then write for fun (not blog) afterwards.

At exactly 3:00 the bell on the door to the coffee shop rang and in walked Dr. Zirci. It was actually ironic because Jessica and I had just been talking about his wonderful family.

"You're in my office," he teased me.

"Actually, I'm in the coffee shop," I teased back.

"That's my table," he argued.

"I don't see your name on it," I countered.

"This exact table is my office from 3-5 on Wednesday afternoons," he said pulling out a syllabus to show me he does indeed have coffee shop office hours at that time. What a fun professor!

Before he could kick me out of his office I invited him to join me. The three of us engaged in conversation until Jessica's coffee date arrived and I changed tables for my meeting. We left Dr. Zirci alone in his office.

At 4:15ish I returned to my seat next to Dr. Zirci ready to write.

"What are Katie and Dr. Zirci doing?" I heard a voice behind us.

"I don't know. Maybe she needs remedial help," a second voice answered.

"She's definitely not in Anatomy and Physiology; she's an English major. Plus, they're laughing. I'm pretty sure A&P isn't that funny."

"You're just jealous," I wanted to say but I didn't. Instead, I stole a glance at the time on his computer: 5:00. We'd been talking for a solid forty-five minutes; forty-five minutes of my precious writing time had dwindled away. Have you ever tried to write for fun in a coffee shop sitting side by side with a professor who's also your adoptive father? Let me tell you, it doesn't work very well. However, I don't regret it. Instead of writing, I spent forty-five minutes watching YouTube videos, looking at photos, and sharing life.

Sure, my story's not any further along but the time was well-spent.

Be real-life social today. Don't wait for people to join you in the caf because sooner or later dinner will be over and your conversation will wrap up (unless you're David). Don't wait to see wh appears in your apartment because it's only a matter of time before you'll disappear into your bedroom to do homework. Intentionally place yourself somewhere where you will interact with others and do nothing but fellowship. Put aside your plans to share life. Oh, and facebook/ blogger doesn't count, sorry. :-)

<>< Katie

1 comment:

StorytellERdoc said...

Great post...sometimes a coffee shop is just the distraction and reinforcement to produce some great writing! You handled the conversation excellently here, Katie, and think you are really gifted...I look forward to your posts.

Oh, and by the way, your Lutheran family stories scare me! LOL Have a good weekend.