When I eat breakfast with my German kin, there are always vegetables on the table, as well as bread and cheese. There may be fruit, or some pastry, but it’s generally a savory affair.
Starting your day with vegetables feels virtuous.
Today I found myself with an abundance of farmer’s market produce, as well as several kinds of cheese and some seeded rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery.
It was an excellent, nourishing breakfast, one that should have initiated a productive day of wholesome industry. Instead, I’m sitting at the coffee shop after having failed to produce anything of substance in the couple of hours I’ve spent here.
Across the street, a small stooped man with a grey beard is puffing on a cigarette in quick, rapid pulls, bringing it to his mouth with the jerky urgency of a bird pecking at the ground: puff puff puff. Puff puff puff.
An exceptionally tall man walks past, wearing a yellow messenger bag and grey jeans. I wonder if he’s used to being ogled. Do very tall men become inured to the attention they command?
Baby Michael Jackson’s high-pitched wail issues from the speakers at Norm’s, the dog-friendly bar on the opposite side of the street, and I recall what a friend once said about him: “It sounds like he’s being squeezed.” (This apt observation still makes me laugh.)
The young woman seated next to me on the coffee shop’s capacious front porch is staring into the middle distance. She has no book, no laptop. Her phone is cradled in her lap, its screen dark. It’s startling to realize what an anomaly this is, how seldom you see someone just sitting and existing, without the justification/distraction/excuse of something to read, something to do with their hands. I admire her, and envy her a little: When I’m not writing or drawing or creating something, I feel like a slacker, like I’m wasting my life. Even though my computer use usually devolves into a sad fruitless facebook wank, I often feel the need to bring my laptop with me. So I can write, you see.
Now the woman is tapping at her phone, holding it close to her face: The spell is broken.