Observations from a coffee shop

Out on a field trip again today...enjoying the coffee shop working day.


On the way to work, as we sped along the on ramp to the highway, I noticed that the once bare hill that banks the left side of the ramp is now covered with long, skinny, shiney grass - the kind that picks up the light in a wave formation. As we flew by, it danced and shimmered, picking up the summer light, showing off its growth and greeness. It was a moment of nature among the hustle of highway, cars, contruction, and gridlock. I'm sure if the windows were open to let in the smell of pollution and "forward thinking," the moment would be ruined - but of course we had our earth-sucking air conditioning on, like any good citizen would.


The wind is here too, at the coffee shop, making the trees that were planted the day that the building was finished dance and play. They're tall and thin, showing off their delicate age still. Teenage trees that frolic, their rounded, full heads of hair bouncing around, nodding and looping, flirting and reaching to the sky, just as young people should. Enjoy, enjoy, but reach and soar. And if for one moment you forget that the trees are lining roads and parking lots, and if for one moment you pretend that you are in a field, carpeted with natural grasses, wild flowers, and unicorns, you can imagine that the trees are as happy as the wind makes them look.


Older people look so worthy to me - they don't look cocky and arrogant like young people, who feel like they know everything, while making ignorant decisions; they don't look like the middle group, of spit and polished corporate workers, or laid back relaxed corporate workers. They look refined, worked, weathered, strong, and calm. They don't have the nervous energy of youth, who can't sit still, who have to keep moving, keep busy, keep jiggling, keep up the facade of "I know!" They don't have the loud confidence of cologned and perfumed 30-somethings. They have the look of quiet power, of quiet knowing. I want that. I want, when I have reached an age to consider retirement, that kind of simplicity and wisdom.

Saw a woman on the way to work today - she had a shock of white gray hair, cropped short in a very hip way. She must have been 55. She was fit and was wearing a bright sundress, walking up the street with confidence and poise. Sunglasses, class. But then a peek at her bra under her arm mid-stride - not flashy, not patterned, not black. Pure white - the show of care for her clothes, for her bras, for the colour white. You know her mother told her to care for her undergarments. You just know. And you know that she listened now. And she may not have before, but now she knows, this is true. And she walked like she knew, but didn't have to tell anyone. Lovely. Perfect. My wish.

Man in the coffee shop who is tall, with white hair and conservative glasses. He is carrying a satchel, which could hold a computer, maybe. But instead he pulls out paper and a pen - old school. And he sits there, quietly, alone, working and thinking. Reading. Absorbing. And you know this is something he has perfected over the years. And his knowing is there too - as he watches the younger polished and the younger casual workers, chat and be excited, with their oversized coffees and laptops and cell phones (yes, me too). And he has a small coffee, a small notebook for notes, and a book open on his lap. And he knows, but we don't need to know that. Because he knows. Solid. Wise. My wish.


I want to be skinnier. Not in a starved way, but in a fit way. I want there to be a graceful curve to my neck, not rolls. I want my belly to be flat so when I'm pregnant you'll see my bump, not just exaggerated chub. I want gorgeous legs, or at least the the little bit of leg that I do have be fantastic. I want it. And I will get it if I get my round bottom off of the couch and out into the world.


Gentleman beside me recently lost his job. As I write about bankruptcy, where one of the main reasons people go bankrupt is because they've lost their job, my stomach hurts for him. He has a girlfriend and no job. Remembering my husband's and my unemployment I feel for him. The frustration, the worry. I have to breathe more...and remember that his plight is not mine. But I do hope that he finds a resolution sooner, rather than later. Hope, hope, hope.


Sleepy-headed boy, nodding off in a comfy chair. Brings back memories of when I was in school and I would head for the basement of Dana Porter Library, sink into one of their comfy chairs, and study and doze the day away, getting more work done than anywhere else. Granted, this groggy lad doesn't have any books with him, but he looks about the age that everyone assumes has the most energy. Truth be told, the most energy requires the most sleep. I miss the sleep of my university years, the frequent napping, and the flexible schedule. But the homework? That I will never miss. EVER.
Paris Hilton is going back to jail after she was released. Apparently, being Paris Hilton is not as glamorous as it seems in the photographs. Her head tilt, her model body, her sex on the internet, her television show, and all of her inheritance isn't saving her. And although the world is crowing about how awesome it is that justice is being done, don't you feel a little sorry for her? Not for going to jail and not for getting what she deserved, but rather for the fact that she has deluded herself into thinking she has real love in the world? That in her hour of need, the media-hooked-up world is calling for her hanging? Not petitioning that she be let go?
Can you imagine how isolating that must feel? Thinking you are beloved and then finding out you are reviled?

That would be awful. That's the part I feel bad for...her ignorance. And how stupid of her parents for supporting her delusions. For telling her she is loved. For telling her she is worth the world. For telling her that she is a celebrity. For telling her that she is precious. For telling her all that and then not mentioning that love only works unconditionally with her parents, not for the rest of the world. That she has to contribute and be something bigger than herself and her riches.
Poor, Paris. I hope she can see past her delusions in prison and figure out who she really is and who she really wants to be. Best case scenario? She does some soul-searching and finds a charitable, compassionate human being, instead of a cold celebutante.
Can you imagine a world where Paris is human and not fake? Where she practices humanity instead of toxicity? That will be a better world for her.
Now if only we could toss George Bush into jail, along with all of his idiot advisors. Those guys deserve to do some serious time. Stop killing the world - start making it a better place. Please.

1 comment:

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