Monday, March 5, 2012

Coffee Shop Observations

"I heard it through the grapevine..."

That's what I'm listening to right now. I'm being completely unoriginal and sitting in a coffee shop on a March afternoon, looking at Pinterest, sipping coffee and writing a blog entry. Really, all I'm trying to do is not waste a half day off from work. A coffee shop and a blank page always seem like good uses of free time. But somehow I always feel like I waste my time.

As I write my resume for The Onion News Network, I'm secretly pretending to be productive. I have a tab open for my e-mail, with a mental list of everyone I *should* be replying to. But I'm really just playing Words with Friends and trying to come up with a stupendous movie plot.

Looking around the room, there's a handful of hipster dudes with large glasses and sweater vests, head phones implanted, staring intently at their laptop screens. Sitting in a corner is a large, burly man with tatooed arms and a shaved head. I love the variety here. Across from him is an eldery, bearded man, staring ahead of himself. At first glance he's staring into space, but a second look reveals a book in his lap, that he no doubt lost in thought about. Two elderly ladies sit to my left discussing the zoo and what a good time of day this is to come here.

I'm realizing that when I come to coffee shops to write, more than anything, I end up people watching. Maybe because I'm always looking for my next character, or because people are just plain fascinating. It's almost like a little game, to see if I can form any kind of personality or identity for people simply by looking at them. Maybe that's just the next best thing to walking straight up to them and finding out for myself.

One of the hipster dudes just laughed out loud at something on his computer. I wish I was in on the joke. I suppose I could walk over and ask him. Maybe I will.

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