There is a certain aura about coffee shops in the world of writing; a whispered rumour of the brilliant inspirations that will slip stealthily from the nib of your pen is you but take a seat in a steam filled corner of your local Starbucks.
And perhaps we writers have a point. After all, ‘Life’ doesn’t bustle around you or bump into your elbow at home. If holed up in an office, or your bedroom or wheresoever you happen to write, there is nothing but you and a collection of memory clustered objects. But in a café there are: orders shouted; new mothers soothing their pink cheeked babes; a couple perched awkwardly across from each other on a first date; a businessman taking a seat, a break at last from executive talk and statistic filled folders; and the tinny music coming from the hidden speakers, heralding the imminence of Christmas Day.
So it was in search of this ‘Life’ and detached solitude in the company of many that I marched purposefully in on my way home this evening. Confidently, I ordered the Winter signature Hot Chocolate – with a smile, the waitress added an extra sprinkling of cocoa dust. Feeling oh-so-suave-and-mature, I made my way over to a table…
…tripped over my own rather large feet, and spilled the contents of my mug EVERYWHERE.
Not the smooth entrance I had planned. I was now left with an expansive puddle of brown water, and two canvas bags covered in the sticky substance dangling from my scorched arm.
What followed was the bitter, convoluted mutterings of a woman in a truly foul temper. Why had I thought a coffee shop would be any different to a home setting? Who needs a hot drink? Why didn’t I buy a bottle of un-spill-able water? Why is everyone staring? And for the love of everything holy, why did God only give me TWO HANDS?!
Rage and bitterness led me to pick up my pen and set it to paper. I was determined the trip wouldn’t go to waste.
* * *
Twenty minutes later, I’m left with two pages of writers’ scrawl, telling the story of a novice author who tried her hand at ‘coffee shopping’ a blog out of her weary brain.
It’s no Shakespeare but maybe – just maybe – there might be something in this coffee shop lark.
You tell me.