My Coffee Shop Blues


Coffee shops eh? What makes them such a good a place to brood and be mysterious in and act like a Sin City down and out detective with the world on your shoulders, while a deep voiced man narrates your confused life?

Sitting there with your collar up, dark glasses on, hunched over the table with a stance that just screams “My life is a mess, I’m in real deep and I don’t know where I’m going”, in a Bronx accent and a cigarette balanced in your mouth.

Fortunately, my two recent trips to my local cafe haven’t seen me look that bleak, but I think deep down, what drove me there wasn’t too dissimilar from my alter Bronx detective ego.

I think this Bronx detective has life a bit easier though. At least you can hide in the city. In a village, you are known by everyone and those people see your every expression, hear your every thought and watch your every move. There is no hiding. There is no rocking up at a cafe in a long trench coat with dark glasses and a journal, ordering a black Americano “hold the milk”, without someone thinking “what an absolute prat”.

My life is the complete opposite of Sin City;  More Do-gooder Village where happy folk skip their way through a gleeful underworld in search of blossomed snow drops and fellow do-gooder approval. I’m not saying I want to live in a world full of violence and drugs and all that horrible stuff, not at all, I’m very grateful for where I live. But there is a part of me, the Bronx detective in me, which needs a slice of anonymity from time to time. Where I can order an Espresso and to not have “I’ll bring the Expresso over” smiled back at me; where they’ll know what one is. Where I can sit on a table for one in the corner, conveniently hidden from the rest of the cafe world by a strategically placed stone pillar, spot an equally mysterious Bruce Willis across from me who gives me a shady nod, and scroll through my phone without the disapproving look of an elderly country bumpkin and where I can write blog posts in my writing pad without someone thinking I’m studying or writing the next verse for the Parish magazine next week.

I want to be able to leave in silence, away into the hustle of a busy street where I immediately blend in with the existence of city life with nothing but the sound of “Taxi!” and a swirl of mist from the extractor fan in my wake. Instead I leave to the sound of synchronized “Bye”‘s from every soul in that cafe, all watching as I open the door, trip on the step and re-adjust my scarf as an overwhelming feeling of metaphorical suffocation encapsulates my being.

It can get too much.

You know?

I want to be a chic city girl exuding mystery and dark elegance.

Is that really too much to ask?


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