Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Cafe

There’s something good that happens when you sit in a café long enough. You start thinking of things that you haven’t thought of in a very long time. You stop worrying about money. You don’t care that your husband pissed you off that morning or that your son still writes his numbers backwards or that your best friend is not returning your calls. No, you stop thinking about that stuff. You stop ruminating. You stop chasing your worries around inside your head like hissing cats you can’t catch. You put them outside for the night. You just sit.

And you write or you read or you strike up a conversation with a stranger. Inevitably that stranger has some unsuspected similarity to you. A brother eight years older, a father who just died, a vacation approaching, the cusp of another life changing next to you. I don’t know, something in common, a thread pulled through both your lives. The randomness of cafes does more to illustrate the orderliness of our mismatched universe in ways even Einstein would find interesting. And he could get something hot to drink along with it.

And that’s why I visit my favorite café regularly, usually about once a week, like church almost. I bring my book and my laptop, my notes and a pen. I pay bills there. I page through a newspaper discarded in a chair. I email my brother. And, more than anything, I set myself in orbit with the random order of things.


Adiv said...

I love that feeling of sitting in a cozy cafe. I have had numerous favorite places, but none of them in LA, where I live now. It's not a good cafe city. My favorite of all is Tmol Shilshom in Jerusalem.

I love metting people there too...but if I just get to read or write while drinking some decaf, that's fine with me.

Anne Custis Kenealy said...

Here in DC we are enjoying a renaissance of the cafe. People use them like extensions of their living rooms.

Thanks for the Jerusalem cafe tip. I've never been there, but it is high up on my list of travel destinations -- and there's family (my husband's) there.

BTW, how did you wend your way to my blog?

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