Coffee Shop Writing I

Late in the afternoon the coffee shop becomes quiet. Caffeine addicted middle aged women in sweat pants and tired business men in polo’s no longer need espresso to make it through the day. A muted television glares, with fluorescent indifference, at the spotless, empty tables who refuse to go away. The engaging smell of roasted coffee beans and fresh pastry’s fills the place as a falling, yellow, sun casts it’s final rays through the large windows on the west side of the shop and onto the bronze colored floor, giving it an orange hue. It’s amazing how a setting sun can make anything look orange. Even the green plants in the corner soaked the color in and beamed, a contented smile.
Outside, a twenty-something woman from the “Sales Center” next door walks by in tight leggings, obviously on her day off, showing off the good shape of her legs and rear. She climbs into her white Lexus SUV and drives away. More cars drive by; cars full of tired moms and dads, heading home to boil noodles al dente and to bake chicken and steam broccoli; in some cases Fruit Loops will have to suffice. Cars packed by students move on by as well; the school day is over and hours of TV viewing and video games will likely soon commence. Hours of indifference. Indifference is a disease passed to young people by television. Parents, some single, will deal with screaming little ones while older siblings stare at flashing mirrors of worldly sentiment. The older siblings ask, “Mirror, mirror, on the stand who’s the fairest in the land,” to which the TV, in due time, responds, with a flicker, a glimmer in the eye, a wink and, perhaps, a nod or two. And the screaming in the other room goes on.
But inside the coffee shop is silence as all the world runs about outside in fast forward, like the TV on mute in the background. But the rays of orange, waning sunshine and the solitary tables are reminders that there is more to life than 9-5, prom kings and beauty queens, and shapely legs. There is a peacefulness left yet which can complete the tired mind, which can produce beautiful dreams, which can be a last escape from this and that and here and there and then and now.
The earth is spinning too fast these days and with it goes the lives men and women ought to live. Keeping up is cyclical, just like the spinning of the globe. When Africa appears again, we’ll have forgotten just where it was that we began. And we spin on, spin on, spin on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and as we spin we become dizzy and we fall and we break and our late afternoons forget to become quiet anymore.


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