December 28, 2016

Observations with my Coffee

I am enjoying a "quiet" morning at a coffeehouse - a 25 mile ride down a country road from my home. Uptown Coffee in Howell is comfy, relatable, relaxing, with just enough funky to send me 
back to my own coffeehouse days.

Prime spots for computer users is a table where your back is up against a wall, affording a bit of privacy. I have my favorites here as there are plenty of seats. I have discovered that privacy is not my goal as I find that a good cup of a hot beverage, the music, and atmosphere, tunes out gossip and idle chitchat.

As I sit, write, and slurp coffee, conversations naturally drift around the room. Today, people watching is on my radar, with hopes to escape my block in writing. Typical of coffeehouses - people talk about everything, punctuating comments with a soft laugh, a loud hoot, even an occasional slap of delight on a table. 

A young man with earphones sits at a small table making clacking key noises on his computer. Strangely, a huge box of crayons and felt pens sit by his monitor but there are no children present with him. A lady wrapped in a lightweight coat enters and points her finger at two women who have been visiting on a small couch. Obviously, they know each other as exclamations of happiness are blurted. Two women, a little older than me, have been sitting on a bench overlooking the road having an apparent serious "coffee chat", one scowls every so often - keeping their intimate and intense exchange low and confidential.

Two "businessmen" are sitting at the raised counter facing the main street … robustly and openly deep in face-to-face conversation about work issues. The men are very expressive and intent, using hand gestures to accentuate their points.

A woman with young children came by to purchase a coffee to go while her youngest screamed, tossing herself on the floor. The patient mom, coffee in hand, coos as she picks up the child -- the noise blended in with the background music and became a part of the coffee house experience.

A large contingent of middle or high schoolers arrived and claimed a bench by the window recently vacated by the scowling women. They sit with youthful legs curled under one another, sipped on fancy concoctions, exchanging heart-to-heart excitedly with each other. It seems that particular seating seems to attract the younger group so I never sit there to allow them clear access.

The range of music gently puts me in a trance - John Denver, in particular, and brings back memories of being named "JD" by my girlfriend's aunt and uncle (visualize a shag, big glasses, squarish face), which leads me down a melancholic path … but a clattering noise as the barista dropped silverware on the wood flooring brought me back to the present. New patrons are lining up and being greeted with pleasantries. I find the staff at Uptown Coffee welcoming and prepare our orders quickly and perfectly. 

I want to stay seated all day, write and read and drink and be cushioned with the ambiance and people. It is that kind of place.


  1. YOu have great powers of observation. Can you make a story about each person being viewed?

  2. Delightful....I feel as if I were there with you. :)

    1. Thanks Nellie - I'd sit and have a nice chat with you anytime.


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