Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reverb12 | Day 1, I Live in a Cafe

In the refrigerator of our cafe is a carton of almond milk with, quite literally, my name on it.  Wolfman doesn't like working with almond milk--it foams inconsistently, he says, and his opinion is expert.  I don't doubt him.  But, I am wary of dairy and moreso of soy.  And, truthfully, I like the nuttiness almond milk adds to coffee--a fold of extra flavor.  

This cafe is my home away from home now.  Just a couple weeks ago I suddenly, without thinking much about it, changed jobs, and now I have my mornings free.  That hour and a half I once spent on the 311, reading or, with more frequency, staring out the window and listening to Born to Die, I now spend sitting in the coffee shop, writing--in my journal typically, but lately in this little space as well (or, early last month, there was that attempt at a fucking novel, which was sort of a joke, but a noble one).  

My grandmother is pleased.  She always thought I read too much.  She believes in books, let me tell you; her overstuffed book shelves are a testament to that, and those summers we spent reading aloud to each other at the kitchen table while she made dinner--from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and biographies of Wyatt Earp and Ben Franklin. But, she's of the opinion that reading the dust jackets, the introductions and prologues, and maybe the first couple chapters are enough--to get the gist.  As far as I know, the books she's completed cover-to-cover are considerable (Marilynne Robinson's HousekeepingDraculaCrime & Punishment, among others) though minuscule in comparison to the books she buys and borrows and samples daily.  Sometimes she gives me books she's started, knowing that eventually I will finish them, as if she is reading vicariously through me.  And though I joke about this, perhaps her attitude is the right one--how much time do I waste completing books I feel only lukewarm about (or, worse, books I actually abhor, like the Twilight series which I still have every intention to master, or that Anne Rice disaster, Belinda).  I'm a slow, methodical reader, it should be said.  How much of my life am I spending reading words on pages I could easily take or leave?

But, I digress (as usual).  The point I intended to make is that my grandmother has always been my greatest fan, in all things.  According to my grandmother, I am the prettiest (well, tied with my sister) and the most breath-taking dancer ever to grace a stage.  I am the wittiest, the brightest crayon in the box, the sharpest tool in the shed.  I am the tallest, the strongest, the most charming and charismatic.  But, above all, I am the greatest writer.  And I am, perhaps, wasting my talents.  This is all hyperbole, of course.  My grandmother is not insane, but she does believe in me, more than I believe in myself, and she knows that in order to succeed, what I need is discipline.  And, though I am the best at a lot of things in her mind, discipline is not among them.

So I write now, and I make her happy.  And, more importantly, I make myself happy.  I drink my coffee (which, these days, is half-caf), and share a scone with the man I married whose clothes always smell like coffee.  This morning, I taste test a new hot chocolate out of an espresso shot cup painted with a yin yang.   

I'm loosening up.  That's part of what abruptly quitting my job a couple weeks ago was all about--changing my routines, realizing I am not a little old lady yet.  So, perhaps the mornings in the cafe will not last, but I'm hoping the writing will.  Sixty days to make or break a habit.  Sixty mornings sitting at this bar, typing here (getting accustomed to this weird, tiny keyboard, which I know you can not see, but which, trust me, is a pain in the ass), scribbling in my journal about the days, and spirit letters, and all my esoteric bull hockey which means so much to me.  

But words and words and words.  My life built in words and fueled by coffee.  I live in this cafe.  For now.
Prompt, Day 1How are you starting this last month of 2012?  Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel... in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

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