A Saturday Morning at Starbucks.

I've written before about making time in our schedules to write. Recently, I've developed a habit of using my Saturday mornings (the one and only time each week when I am alone with no obligations) to write. Most times, I wake up, make myself a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee, and I sit on my porch for awhile and think. I then pick up my pen and journal and start writing whatever comes to mind. Last Saturday, I decided to do something a little different. I enjoy going to coffee shops and of course I'm a sucker for Starbucks, which just happens to be closest to me. I gathered my notebook, my laptop, and a few other writings in a bag and went there to spend a few hours writing. My goals? 1. Drink a good cup of coffee since there was none to be had in our apartment. 2. Test myself : can I write when I have a flurry of activity going on around me? 3. Observe others going about their day and write what I see. More specifically, focus on visualizing and showing the moment with descriptive language. Don't be a slave to a theme. Don't spoon-feed readers and tell them what to think about it. (I do this a lot.) I've written in coffee shops before, but mostly it was when I was working on class assignments or work; never for the purpose of writing what I saw. Many writers encourage writing in places where we can observe others, or simply putting ourselves in a setting out of the norm. The idea behind this is that a new setting makes for new ideas and inspirations; writing in the same place can lead to stale writing and for me, it can leave me feeling lonely or restless. I'm supremely glad I tried it. I realized: people do so many things inside a day that go unrecorded. They may remember small moments, but they're more likely to forget them. I'm glad that for one Saturday, the things they said and did that they have by now probably forgotten were an inspiration to me, and so will not be lost forever. Here is one of my favorite moments...
There's a dad sitting a few feet away playing with his daughter. She's young- maybe four. She's wearing a black leotard with the light pink tights and sparkly tennis-shoes; she's just come from ballet. Her eyes are a mirror of his: big, bright silver saucers. She giggles again and again as they play their game. He pretends she's not there and then, after what seems like an eternity, he suddenly turns and looks at her with wide, googly-eyes and a contorted face. After a few rounds of their goofing, he grabs their drinks and now he's walking to the door, drinks in hand, trying to coax her to come with him. She wants to keep playing the game, so she doesn't move from the couch. He stops. I dread, for a split second, the part where he will ruin a perfectly good moment with his young daughter. He'll grow impatient and yell. He'll drag her out as she wails in confusion and hurt. He turns his head away, and then back. He gives her one more silly face. She giggles wildly, and the people around us pause to look and smile. He pretends to walk out, and she whimpers as he passes from her view. Suddenly, he hops back into the doorway, drinks still in hand. She smiles, a little relief lingering at the corners of her mouth. "Ready?" he asks again. She crosses her arms and closes her eyes, nose in the air. "Come on, Miss Sophisticated. You don't want to stay here in the cafe and drink this by yourself. We have to go give one to Mom." She hesitates. The cogs begin to turn, and she hops down from her chair. "Okay. Let's go see Mommy," she decides, and skips out the door and toward the car.


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts: