Excerpts from the coffeehouse #6

A troop walks into the coffee house. Mom’s haggard, kids dangling from hips and hands amidst diaper bags and scarves. Right away, you know she rounded everyone into the car by saying, “how about we stop for hot chocolate on our way?” and then no one forgot about the suggestion as hoped, so now they’re here waiting in line. And by waiting, I don’t mean waiting at all. There are four little heads bobbing around, eyes peering from behind articles of her winter garb, hands “organizing” the pile of chocolates for sale, arms reaching up to the counter to show her what kind of scone they “need, mama!” 

She can’t be older than I. Our eyes meet as one of her bundled units wanders in my direction. I’m leisurely sipping an almond milk latte while tapping away at my laptop. It’s ridiculous how comfy I am, and I decide to scatter my pile of notebooks beside me. There, now we’re both frazzled. 

Her little boy (I’d say 5, give or take 2 years – I can never tell) has spotted the bookshelf next to my table, and he’s pulling books out, one by one and stacking them on the floor, naturally. His mom is now ordering with her back practically to the barista so her baby can’t get to the biscotti. 

“I like what you’re doing with the bookshelf.” I say. 

I’ve surprised him and he freezes. So I continue. 

“There are a lot of books to choose from and it helps to get a good look at all of them.” 

He looks at me and continues slowly pulling book by book out off the shelf and onto his pile not the floor. 

“I’m um, I’m …um” he starts, realizing with excitement that he has my undivided attention and thus totally loses his train of thought. “I’m…my, um, um, I’m…UM” he’s kind of gasping and looks at me. We both recognize that one of us will probably need to pick up the communication slack here, so I jump in. 

“Are you choosing a book to read?” 

“Yeah!” Now we’re off to the races. He tells me in one breathless surge about the book his mom reads to him at night but sometimes he reads some of the words too! And he loves polar bears because they stay warm when it’s cold (hugs himself and jumps up and down) and it’s Christmas soon and he gets HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM today because his mom said so (I was right!) then he whispers something about getting in trouble yesterday because he gave the dog a… he trails off, realizing the joyful dialogue has taken a somber turn. 

“Wow, you have so much good stuff going on!” I say, impressed. “So…what happened with your dog?”

He shrinks a little and scrunches his face. “He threw up. On the carpet. In my mom’s room. And she was really mad. The dog’s not supposed to throw up. He ate meatloaf. Bad dog.”

“Oh, I see.” I like this kid a lot. “How come he decided to eat meatloaf?”

He sighs at the bad choices of his dog. 

“Well, just because. And also, because he likes it,” he explains. “And because I shared mine. Mom likes it when I share because sometimes we have too much and someone else needs some of it.” 

He beams at the good thing he did, then runs back to claim his hot chocolate, even though it’s too hot and he and his mom agree to hold the cup together. 

yoga in LA, like, this one time

Dressing room in yoga…

Girl: I go to Thailand every year just to sit in a cave and pray.

Other girl: oh my god! That’s like “Eat, pray, love!” *sigh*

Girl: Well, yeah…except, like, I don’t eat. I just do a juice fast and get colonics every day. It’s so raw and REAL.

spare change

She asked me for spare change and I said no not today. She glared and said you get what you give and I looked at her angry eyes and agreed.

Jack. The man.

“…they danced down the street like dingledodies and I shambled after as usual as I’ve been doing all my life after people that interest me, because the only people that interest me are the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing… but burn, burn, burn like roman candles across the night.”

~Jack Kerouac, ON THE ROAD: The Original Scroll

charmed in Missoula, MT

I jogged past an elderly man and waved because it was early on a Monday morning and we were both enjoying the fresh air. He yelled “WHORE!” Happy Monday.

young love

At the airport. A little girl about 4 years old walks up to a boy her height in line, and unzips her sweatshirt to reveal the SAME Batman t-shirt that he is wearing. They stare at each other, then alternately grin and scowl, until she finally runs away. He steps out of line, watches her for a moment, then screams, “COME BACK BATGIRL!”

Excerpts from the coffeehouse #5

Coffee shop. In line. Toddler looks up at me. I look down at her, and feel giant so I squat to her height. She grins and touches the tattoo on my wrist with one small fingertip. Then she slowly lifts her tank top and points that same tiny finger at a fading heart “tattoo” on her protruding belly, beaming. Absolutely beaming.

let this knowledge settle into your bones…

One of my best friends in the all the world sent this to me this morning and it was perfect. Thought I would share and I hope it’s perfect for one or two of you good people:

There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and the people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you well, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Excerpts from the coffeehouse #4

“HELLO.”

From my seat at the coffeehouse, I look around for the source of this remarkably loud greeting. A teeny blonde forehead rises slowly from the leather chair to my left. Then two large blue eyes. Stops there. Stares.

“Well, good morning,” I say, and lean back patiently.

Still just two eyes, but they squint slightly (from a presumed smile).

A muffled response resonates up the leather chair:

“I’m going to ballet and I’m gonna take my toy.”

“That’s a great plan,” I nod.

She then lifts her head up, looks at me squarely and yells, “TODAY IS SO SO GOOD!”

Excerpts from the coffeehouse #3

At my local coffee shop. Pick up my latte, a feather artfully depicted in the foam. 

“Wow. How do you do that?” I ask. I need to know. 

(long pause as my barista contemplates her craftsmanship)

“You have to major in philosophy in college.” Laughing, we look at my mug. “That right there is my $60,000 secret.”