Of Cafés & Writing

Here I sit, savouring every bit of this cake, every sip of coffee, every flick of ink in my dog-eared pages, & I begin to think… of reasons I almost always find myself hiding in a café. For work, for convivial occasions, or simply inviting myself the pleasure of sitting in the company of unspoken words. My mind would unwind; pirouetting in a silent constellation of thoughts. Perhaps it’s the littlest details that keep me coming back: glint gleaming through the slant of dusty glass windows & casting shadows on the oak stools, faint tinkling of cups before the sudden blast of coffee shower, whispered conversations, comfortable silences settling atop communal tables… This subtle mingling of light, sound, & taste, is therapeutic somehow.

Why not the library? It’s an equally safe & wondrous haven, but its stillness occasionally scares me. Maybe it’s my loud imagination, but the cold silence seems to amplify my every movement – no matter how slight – bringing to surface my own mess of gossamery thoughts that spin an inner web of distraction. Cafés own that quintessentially restrained balance of comfort & chatter that’s typically reflected & celebrated in its interior & lighting. Not too quiet, not too loud. Plenty of space to read, write, & think better.

I think about how privileged am I to be sitting in one, as I drink a cup of freshly brewed & sink in between these papers. Time flows slower now, liquid & easy. Words they blanket my mind & sidle out my fingers, drowning out sounds & putting these worries to sleep. Nothing else to concern with but these thoughts & myself, occupying this temporal space where I am allowed to be unapologetically alone. Solitude is celebrated, yet company is always welcomed. I think about the lives of the people I only see but fail to start a conversation with, & wonder what possible reasons they’d have for visiting this room. Surely they’d have reasons too. I continue sitting here, sequestered in this space for hours spent in rest, in contemplation, in thoughtful idleness. Noticing all that is & will be. The present & future. In remembrance & dreaming. That we may gather, tired feet momentarily leaving the heaviness we each carry on our shoulders at the front door, along with other closed-up worlds in quiet sonder… perhaps this is why. All of this unseen beauty in shared, cosy space. With the urge to read & write my days away, even if for a little while.

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