Saturday, January 9, 2016

Out of My Way--With Coffee

Sometimes, I think that there could be a TV series idea somewhere in my coffee "dates." For the last bunch of years, I have met all sorts of people in all sorts of coffee shops to talk about (and perhaps hope for) all sorts of things. What began as a way to get myself "out there" when I was suddenly out of work and without a place to go each day has become a staple of my existence. While I can't say I'd be nearly as entertaining as "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," I would, I imagine, be a kind of microcosm of a world where people go in and out, caffeinated or not, and manage a great deal of their lives in hour-long stretches complete with a beverage.

Many coffees are purposeful--to get information about a person, or a job, or an industry. Some are literally to gird oneself with caffeine for the next big thing in a day. And some are just an opportunity to vent to a friend in the comfort of a cafe that doesn't look like your apartment. But sometimes, coffee is not about what needs to be done. It is about going out of the way to do what rarely gets done. In the midst of the rush of our work and home lives, and of all the coffees done with a purpose, every so often, there is a coffee with no purpose at all, except the purpose of saying "hello." The purpose of shedding a bit of the baggage and embracing some of the self. The purpose of smiling and laughing and feeling connected.

It may not happen nearly often enough. But that kind of coffee is well worth going out of my way for.

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