It is spring. I am in a dusty little cafe, tucked into a corner of art-deco, post-industrial America: the rafters are lined with a few hundred hanging coffee mugs, above scattered tables and scattered people-- old books, old laptops, an out-of-date menu on the chalkboard. Quote of the week: "I thought Goth was over," by "Acey". Next to it, scuffs of chalkdust form the shape of a rose.
The barista is writing about Barthes, dictionary open. A dude in the corner is working on a short story. He's covered in tattoos, and his extremely relaxed girlfriend's kisses. A couple of old hippies are reminiscing about that time when they truly *experienced* pure music.
"I wish I had a tape recorder back then," one of them says.
Someone new walks into the cafe.
A head appears from behind the cloudy-grey ibook in the couch.
"Hey- I remember you from City View; You know, my second, third, and fourth first drafts were all written there. A cup of coffee, an appetizer, a few cigarettes, and some beers into the evening, and there you have it. 3am. I write everything in notebooks, you know."
I had forgotten what it's like to be around people who read, write, and think about ideas out of raw thirst.