My Paradox: Why I Sometimes Write In A Coffee Shop


C’mere. Closer.

C’mon. Don’t be afraid. You’re not in trouble. It’s, yeah, I just don’t wanna shout.

So my last post I told ya that I don’t write in a coffee shop.

Guess the fuck what?

I may or may not have articulated the truth. Possibly. But mostly probably.

Yeah, the latter. Don’t go all bugshit.

*waits for bugshittery to cease*

I know-I know, lemme me have it. Then I’ll explain.

*patiently waits for the having it to take place. closes eyes. flinches a little.*

It was just the other day that I told you I don’t write while doing coffee shop and now, well, now I’m selling the praises of coffee shop writing.

*does brakestand*

Kinda anyway. Just a little.

What can I say?

The right coffee shop can be relaxing. It’s peaceful. The music is just the perfect mix of rock and, I dunno, spa. Downright blissful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a coffeehouse-laptop-cowboy. I don’t lug a pack full of iGadgets and cords. No charging this or that or even that or this. There’s no wired notebooks, pink stickies, blaze orange highlighter, or even a goddamn pen in my arsenal. Nope, Bic doesn’t stand a chance with me.

I’m a Lone Ranger. My six-shooter is my trusty and capable iPhone. It serves me well in times of need. Hell, it serves me when well even when I don’t need it. It’s a technological tentacle growing from my hand.


Allow me to get back to why I can write in a house of coffee.

While the places can offer many distractions, too many, in fact, they also offer one thing only a writer can see: stories. The brain barfs ideas.

Lots and lots of interesting people get turned into characters of intrigue. Some die. Well, most die. Others escape the hands of tyrants. Some are heroines. Some get lost in the desert only to return and reign supreme.

Uh, Wait. That seems like it was already done in another piece of fiction.

*taps noggin. gets it*

Yes, of course, it was the Bible.

Here it is, three reasons why I can write in a coffee shop. I mean, besides the coffee.

1. Shit Stays Casual.

Not to say that working from home cannot be casual, I mean who doesn’t love wearing pajamas or lounging clothes all day and writing?

That was rhetorical, so…

*dons purple velour jogging suit and chills in swanky leather chair because…velour*

But there are at-home distractions that aren’t found at the coffee shop. Sometimes we don’t tune ‘em out either. Or we don’t have a super secret hiding spot just for writing. The ringing phone. The blaring TV. The text messages. The irritation of a lawnmower. The dogs doing all kinds of dog things. Blah, blah, blah. Puke. Vomit. Spit. IT’S ALL THERE.

2. As Long As It’s Not A Commercially Driven, Overdone-On-Every-Goddamn-Corner-In-America Drone Coffee Shop With Too Many People.

I’m talking about a small town shop with, maybe, one electrical outlet. A place where not too many people can do the electric plugin. Where laptops aren’t a thing.

When I see a guy in a coffee shop hunched over a shiny laptop, my mind goes places. Mostly, I think, “For fucksake, man, get an office. You’re, I dunno, a goddamn adult.”

One of those long hardwood tables sits in the middle. It’s more for a gathering or social sphere, but still looks good. Gives an ambiance I prefer.

A few comfy armchairs on the perimeter. A place where the restroom is back and through the kitchen. And Sal or Nancy owns the joint. Or both. It’s a place where local shit is sold. Not literal shit, figurative shit. As in artwork, indie books, maybe local fruit. Maybe a bulletin board shows who’s offering guitar lessons. It has a posting for a new litter of pups. The what-the-fuck-ever-isn’t-allowed-in-corporate-America-coffee-shops kind of place.

It’s a place where a mug is given, not offered. No paper cups for those sitting. None of that oh-it’s-too-fucking-hot-to-hold cardboard coffee sleeve shit. If it’s too hot for you, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Point is: LOCAL. LOCAL. LOCAL. Sorry, didn’t mean to yell, I just…yeah, I actually did mean to.

3. Not As Worky.

It feels like I’m getting away with something.

No, it’s not murder. Until it is.

It just seems, I dunno, I’m sipping the deliciousness of tiny dark beans plucked as a berry from the tree! There’s pasteries. Coffee. And more coffee. And then cookies.

It feels as thought the technology barriers are lifted from my shoulders. I don’t mean that I’m absorbed by all kinds of tech shit in my home, I just mean, Okay, you caught me. I don’t know what I mean, but shit, I meant something there.

Sometimes, it’s just good to get away. Get out and see things – people, animals, flowers, the birds and the bees, trees, blue skies, and green grass – whatever it is.

It’s like a special treat, the getaway experience.

Now go ye and drink forth the dark blood of berries whilst tapping keys into mighty words.

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