Written at Java's in Rochester, NY
May 9-10, 2003
Twenty-six to twenty-seven years. Still hanging out here.
I so miss eavesdropping here. Even on stupid " Can I borrow a cigarette?" conversations. Ach. And people watching. And striking up quick, random conversations with people at tables nearby. You don't even have to remember each other's name. It's a familiar anonymity. Total strangers will ask for chairs from your table, will ask if they can share a corner of your table. And if you see them around enough, soon you'll be sharing iced cappuccinos on hot summer evenings.
The things that binds you... hard to say. But there's the sense that you all love this place and always will no matter how jaded you try to be about it in your "advancing" years. That's why I come back. Plus, it's the only real coffee shop in this state or nation where I actually enjoy the coffee.
It's funny how a single sip reminds the tastebuds. They're playing The Smiths! "The suns shines.. oh I really don't know and I really don't care!" Tonight's prospects not as great. No "intellectual" buttoned-up types reading books in French tonight. Just the stogie smoking "regular" that begs to be called pathetic. I wonder if he's a bouncer for this place or if he's just so attached that he has become this place. Mmmm. Coming tonight was providence in terms of excellent music. SmithsSmithsSmiths. How I love that band.
Looking around the room and outside, I realize that I could have babysat most of the clientele. I catch one familiar face in the crowd. I don't know him and vice versa, but he's been around here awhile too. I want to run over to him, grab his hands and say, "When did it all change? When did we get older? How did we get stuck to this place while others moved onto god knows where? Where did the others go? Do they drink in bars now? Have they all moved away? Did they get married/become committed and unable to frequent the headiness of this place?" I keep coming back. I like the coffee.
It's funny. A bus load of prom goers have made a pit stop here. The kind of crowd I would have disliked in high school. I watched a couple walk by Mordecai Lipshutz (at least he looks like one of my favourite WXXI personalities); who just shook his head after they had passed. It's good not to forget what youth is like. Another part of me just hanging onto the past. But to look at them. That easy smile. That angst mixed in. You have to appreciate it. Even when they switch cds and put something on you don't even recognize.
I miss not having someone sitting at this small table with me. I miss having someone near enough to distract me from the fact that I am a 26 year old woman alone in this pulsing place filled with thin, pretty, young kids. Twenty-six is not too old. I'm just starting to feel it more.
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