Writing into the Light…

Finding my way with words…

Scenes from a Bookstore Café


I was originally attracted to the purple fleece jacket he was wearing (I LOVE anything purple!).  He was sitting at a table alone reading a magazine, hand covering the side of his face from the sun rather than getting up from the table and closing the shade.  He was an attractive enough man with salt and pepper hair and a grey mustache.  My imagination pegged him a professional with multiple degrees and certifications.  There was something strange about his appearance though…

He looked as though he had been shot between the eyes by a 1.5″ X 4″ cardboard bullet.  I recognized the problem.  He’d done what I too often do…walked out of the house heading for a bookstore and left his glasses laying on the dining room table.  He was wearing “loaners” taken from the spinning rack of readers near the check-out line.  I can often be caught in the same eye wardrobe, although I usually try to cover the evidence of memory loss by pinching the bridge of my nose trying to leave the impression of a severe sinus headache.  If I have one complaint, those tags are HUGE!!

Okay, so I’m sipping my hazelnut coffee, trying to do some serious writing a la J K Rowling.  I’ve been distracted by a nice looking man with a huge white cardboard tag dangling between his eyes.  Looks like a good match for Minnie Pearl!  The slight murmurings of conversation throughout the café were interrupted by a cell phone ringing.  He reached into his pocket, flipped his phone open and yelled “HELLO!”

At the same time he’s greeting his caller 2 women at an adjacent table increased their volume to drown out all other conversations, face-to-face or digital attracting my auditory attention.  They were discussing the pros and cons of the new age of electronic communication ~ email, Facebook, blackberries, twitter and the family of i’s (pod, phone, pad, etc.).

Six feet away was a woman blocking the doorway to enter/exit the store so she could yell into her cell phone in an attempt to rise above the voices in the café.  Her elevated volume was alternating between “I can’t hear you!” and “Can you hear me now?” and finally settled into the task of finding someone home and available to walk her dog.

The heavy glass door swings opens, a man walks in and has to squeeze around the lady who needs her dog walked while talking on his own cell phone held against his ear.  He walks through the café creating an invisible rhythm, a cadence of words.  It gets louder and more coherent as he weaves a path around the mixture of round, square and rectangular tables to sit across from the good looking Tagman.  They continue their phone conversation with each other as their knees come to within 2″ of meeting under the table.  Looking into each others’ eyes they end their digital conversation and continue their conversation about the Vietnam War face-to-face.

By the time the Doorblocker had found someone to walk her poor dog who was home with his legs crossed wondering when relief would arrive, the photographer at the big table had sold the biggest wedding album he had to offer with video, the two men in the over-stuffed chairs against the wall had discussed the day’s news, debated both sides of the issues and devised a plan to heal the world.  Two tables over was the babysitter reading magazines while a nine year old was doing his homework.

I never did get my writing done.  I was too distracted by the digital/human symphony in the café.  It did, however, have it’s own new age charm!


Author: Carol R Craley

I am a former Philadelphia suburbanite who moved to Maine in 2002 ~ a former art educator ~ former school administrator ~former college and graduate school instructor ~ a writer ~an artist ~ and a photographer. I am currently mom to two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels named Emma and Sara and a rescued kitty from Georgia ~ so that is her name. I am inspired by nature, great music, art and writing that makes me ponder the world...

2 thoughts on “Scenes from a Bookstore Café

  1. The hangtag on the glasses reminds me of an old Steve Martin movie- The Jerk. He invented glasses with a grab-bar on the bridge for easy on and off. He made a fortune, then lost it all to lawsuits after everyone using it went crosseyed!

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