Grey Cat is on the kitchen bench staring out the window, watching the starlings and the blackbirds leap from the overhead power lines and soar overhead before suddenly agreeing to gather at the green cat food bowl. They squabble and jostle and nip at Grey Cat’s food, while he paws at the window, protesting loudly. I rap on the glass and the birds temporarily return to their posts to wrap tiny feet around the power lines once more.
I bundle up and leave the house; headed for town. At Main Street, the crossing guard waits in her car, the stop sign upended in a bank of snow, the handle of the sign cocked at forty-five degrees. The wind brings the temperature down to ten below and steals away my words in great billowing gusts. I hurry to the coffee shop and head inside.
It is here where I write. Here where I trap words on paper before they can be blown away and forgotten. Here where I sit two hours a day, every day. Here, I forget about the house and the dogs and the other daily obligations. Here I forget myself.
I am surrounded by the clanking of dishes and music: sometimes rock sometimes classical…Surrounded by several simultaneous conversations hovering like clouds. College students with colored hair and piercings earnestly discuss classes. Couples hold hands across the table and lovingly lean into their quiet words. An artist makes sketches in his notebook. Computers and books and notebooks are open at every table.
I begin to eavesdrop on a conversation at a corner table. Four…perhaps five…women laughing…Talking about children and grandchildren; doctors and illness; the many pairs of socks they’ve knitted. I steal a glance. Each of them balances three or four double-pointed needles in their hands, barely looking at the socks taking shape and spilling from their needles. I want to ask them to teach me; to show me how to work the magic they effortlessly make with their needles.
Instead I return to my work…my words.
This is what I love about this place I now call home: This coffee shop, a microcosm of this town where I live. A place where grandmothers can sit and knit beside college students and businessmen. A place where customers are greeted by name and allowed to write or knit or read for hours, a coffee cup, long empty, close at hand. It’s an eclectic mix, this town. A knitting together of races and ages and standards of living.
I save my work and return home where Grey Cat is still on the bench, still watching, tail twitching.
This was written for this week’s Just Write.