Saturday, March 18, 2017

SOLSC #18 - Coffee Shop People

For the fourth year, I am participating in the SOLSC and guiding students from my classroom and my school on the same writing journey. Here is the link to our school blog and the 15-20 students who are participating in the Classroom Challenge.

Coffee Shop People -  

I often go to coffee shops to do my work. There, I can slip on my headphones, crack open my laptop, and work. But my mind wanders often and I spend time wondering about the people around me. Here are today's wonderings.

A woman sits to my right, young enough that I think she's is in high school at first. Her hair is long, brown and her face is not yet as defined and angular as obvious adults. But she is taking studious notes from a huge science text and has a quote tattoo on her arm. I've decided she's is either a nursing student or perhaps in a pre-med class in college.

On the other side, another young woman creates artistic doodles in a well used 5x7 notebook. She has a colored pencil case I'm a bit jealous of and twice I've handed her drawing implement back that have rolled off the table. She is also of an indeterminent young age, blond hair in a bun on her head, that younger round face and some acne. Initially I thought she was in high school as well but her face holds more wisdom and experience than that.

Two middle-aged men speak in another language against a window. They are probably from an African country. The one in jeans and a zipper fleece is probably in his late thirties by his face, although no grey highlights his black hair. The other in blue slacks and a white collared shirt, closer to fifty and bald by nature and razor. 

A woman, who looks like a grandma in her bifocals and scarlet Gryffindor hoodie, reads from a tablet while sipping on her iced coffee. The font is set large enough I can almost read it from my spot in the sun 10 feet away.

In the corner, a young man in jeans, white t-shirt, ball cap and ear buds hunches over a laptop, possibly watching a March Madness game via the free WiFi. His paisley boxers creep above his black belt and his bear length matches that of the hair showing below the cap line. He has the tall, broad-shouldered physique of a former athlete trying to stay in shape as life has moved on from extra hours to spend working out an being part of a team. Then he pulls out a graphing calculator and shoots down a lot of ideas about what he he's doing here.

A shaved-bald man with short beard and bushy eyebrows talks on the phone, reads a book on the table and types on a laptop. His white dress shirt is untucked from his jeans and has the sleeves rolled up his forearms. He is joined after an hour by two women and a girl who sits on his lap and lays her head on his chest in a huge hug; like my six-year-old daughter does to me. I see my own face in his as he strokes her hair. She is in the tween/teen age range and I wonder how much longer she will do that and if he wonders the same thing. We both consider, when will be the last time?
The sun has moved around behind me causing glare on my computer screen and heating the black sweat shirt I put on an hour ago when the AC kicked in. Customers of all kinds constantly flow through although the rush that was going on a while ago is well past and the baristas are a little more relaxed and friendly while they fill the orders. There are a lot of places to people watch but coffee shops are among my favorites.


  1. Wow you are very observant. Your descriptions are rich and detailed. I really feel like I was sitting in the coffee shop with you. You are right that there is always good people watching at a coffee shop.

  2. Beautiful! Felt like I was right there. Coffee shops are definitely wonderful, used to study in many downtown Seattle ones myself in college!

  3. I like "people watching" along with you. Thanks for the great descriptions of such a variety of interesting people today. It was fun; I just wish I had a cup of coffee in my hand.

  4. I make up stories to explain all the people I encounter, like it seems you do. Last summer I wrote a lot at a Starbucks near my mom's apartment and the people watching never got old!