We met in the morning. Almost 10 years now. Most every morning. 10 years now. It's the time before the day really begins. The brief stop; the respite. We share thoughts, ideas, concerns and minor victories and setbacks. Sometimes we read. But we share books too. Movies, politics, religion (sparingly) and outrage.
The old guy mostly writes alone in corner. Who reads his journal, I wonder? It appears meticulous. Neatly drawn characters on expensive paper. Personal, to be sure. But created in public.
There are families. Children grow and romp inside this oasis. They begin withdrawn but soon their conquests are shared experience. They are seen and heard.
Once a couple got engaged at one of the tables. The stage was set, and the ring produced. Photos, smiles, and coffee all around.
The city planner who talks about his wife, though she never appears. Teachers, retired and active share lesson plans and critiques. Readers, gamers, textures, and wayfarers all occupy the space.
Street people stop over. They get a cup too. Somehow. They have names like "feather" and "overalls." They appear and reappear. The winter gets cold and wet. The windows steam up like our glasses when we enter in December.
There is a retired pastor, and a guy with an NRA cap. Deals transpire over mobile users who are too loud and too self-serving. People share tattoos, oatmeal, and weekend plans. Lots of out of towners enter because they know just what to expect.
The aging folk princess writes a new song. The I T guys speed through having conversations with everyone and none simultaneously.
Often, people just sit and stare. At the dogs and sirens going by. At the freezing rain, an occasional snowflake, the sudden rainbow or fleeting sunlight. They catch a glimpse on one another and force tiny smiles.
The educator from Nigeria. the one from Vermont. The guy who sits in the corner and sketches. The special needs couple who just want to participate. Writers abound. The well-read columnist from the hometown paper sits right behind one of them. If they only know. Odd couples. All sorts. If you can imagine it, I've seen them there. We all have a day to begin. We all want a boost. What goes along with a coffeeshop that closes. This illegitimate gathering will need to reinvent itself. It's not about the coffee. Neve was.