Monday, January 13, 2014

On Writing. And Feeling It. At Starbucks.

I had grand plans to jump start my writing in 2014.
I joined Jeff Goins’ 500 Words-A-Day Facebook group.
I downloaded Storyline’s productivity schedule.
I looked forward to regular sessions with my writer-girl pals.
I have a million little lists.

But then my dad got sick, the fog ensued, and I have honestly been running from writing.

Because I’m the type of writer who must face her fear and vulnerability when she writes.
Writing is cathartic for me, which can feel good, but it can also be scary, because I write so honestly that it forces me to face the hard things.

I’m at Starbucks this afternoon, and I feel very writer-y.
I have my black coffee and my macbook at the corner of the big picnic sized table by the window. The afternoon sun is shining in at my back.

There is a girl here, over by the pick-up counter who I’m pretty sure is my friend Nicole and my friend Shoshannah’s friend, Sara. I recognize her from Instagram. This makes me feel like a complete social media weirdo. I kind of want to go say hi to her, but I am self-aware enough to know that’s just weird and just because you recognize someone from Instagram doesn’t mean it’s okay to come out and talk about it.

I am realizing that I’m noticing things.
That’s a very writer-y thing to do.

Like the woman with the red curly hair and the teal peacoat. That color is magnificent with her hair. Her husband looks like a doctor. They wait for their drinks, and browse at the current Starbucks line of stuff that is designed to make you spend money while you wait for your latte. Right now it’s all about caramel lattes and caramel desserts and the signs make it sound like it’s completely okay to order a carmel latte AND a caramel dessert, which it is completely not okay to do, and the mugs are cream colored and gold colored. The whole thing just makes me want to jump in a pool of warm, swirly caramel and spend $20 I don’t have on a tumbler that I don’t need.

I don’t have to worry about this of course, because I order black coffee.
But these people do. And I notice how her husband puts his hand around her as they look at the caramel stuff. And I miss my husband for a moment. Those little touches are so nice.

I go back to thinking about how he looks like a doctor. I’m basing this on his hair that is very much combed over to the side but not in a balding, comb-over sort of way, and his well-trimmed beard. He’s kind of Indian-looking and he has an identification badge on this pocket.

If he is a doctor, I wonder if he can fix my dad. Definitely not going up to him. That would be even weirder than the Instagram-recognition thing.

A woman and an older man just sat down at the picnic table beside me. They stopped to pray over their coffee. The old man prayed, and thanked God for his caramel frappuccino. I love him. He is wearing a polo shirt and a tweed sport coat. After their prayer, which I may have joined in on, just because if I’ve been anything over the last three weeks, I’ve been a pray-er, he talked about how he hasn’t been to church in more than 8 months. I relate.

I can’t hear them now, even though they’re next to me, because the Starbucks is filling up. There is jazz music playing, and espresso beans grinding, and a woman teaching another woman Spanish, and two girls in magenta North Face fleeces in front of me, putting cream and sugar in their drinks.

And just like that, 631 words.
That was easy.

Side note: Is it even weirder to write about the Instagram girl than it is to just say hi?
I'm going to think about it and write about it and not say anything.
Because like I said, I'm feeling writer-y.

The Starbucks has cleared out and now Jamie Cullum's "All At Sea" is playing. I love that song.


cole said...

I've done some of my best writing at that table Dana. I wish I could've been standing behind that counter this day! Sara would have loved it if you had said hello. :) she's a creeper, too. She would have appreciated it! And I would have gotten a text and in some odd way, we would have been connected, the three of us. :)

BB. said...

You describe these things in a very interesting way.

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