I’ve found a new morning writing spot for the weekdays before the day job eats my life away for 8+ hours. The new spot is a great place—not a corporate monster chain, for one thing, so my mocha money is going to the local community and not to wherever it used to go before—and it also has the most incredible, amazing coffee, just YUM. There are enough tables empty in the mornings so I seem to always find one (though I worry about when classes at NYU start up again in the fall). Free wireless, though that may or may not be a good thing. And—nothing against the homeless, or the club kids, or the drunks—but the only people hanging out in my new spot are people reading or writing, keeping to themselves, not attacking customers or breaking windows or sleeping on the tables or screaming at six-thirty a.m. about what a great night they had / are still having before they take the PATH train back home.
But, alas, all is not perfect in my new spot.
My new morning writing spot opens at seven a.m., about a half hour later than I need to get my writing jaunt kick-started. It’s also a little bit of a longer walk, and I have to take a different subway line to work, but so far that’s been a negligible difference. It’s really just the fact that it opens a little later than I want it to that bothers me.
This morning when I woke up I was dead tired so I flirted with the idea of going back to sleep on the couch. Just for fifteen minutes, I told myself. Then, realizing I couldn’t get into my new morning writing spot till seven anyway, I gave myself full permission to linger and drift off for those sweet fifteen minutes.
When I was at last showered and dressed and ready to leave to write, it was a minute to seven. So they’d definitely be open by the time I made it there—great!
Except . . . As I said, the new spot isn’t a chain. It’s not fast-food coffee, and I guess there’s no obligation to open the doors when the sign says they’re supposed to open the doors. When I got there it was close to ten minutes after seven and the doors were locked. A line of coffee-starved customers was on the steps outside. “They’re not open yet!” they told me. Inside, the workers could be seen, talking, fiddling with a register, standing there waiting for, what, I’m not sure.
I made a flash decision. I had to go! I have an outline I’m tweaking now, mere days away from sending it to my editor, and I was late enough. So I left the steps of the awesome coffeehouse and rushed for the closest—you guessed it—Starbucks. Where the doors were open, the line was short, the coffee isn’t incredible though it’ll do, and the wireless sure ain’t free so I couldn’t even upload this post until tonight.
So I found a corner table and began to write. Then a crazed man sat nearby and started doodling madly on napkins. He slunk over to me and handed me this note, the ballpoint letters put down with so much pressure they tore the napkin open in spots:
Google: Jeff Fisher
I’m on my way to Nashville
Tell everyone online please
I ignored the napkin at first—it’s best to ignore crazed strangers in corporate coffee chains early in the mornings when they still have their hospital ID bracelets on, I’ve learned.
So he scribbled some more and slunk over to me once again before leaving to give me a page torn from a magazine covered in ballpoint doodles including: a fuzzy bunny, a butterfly, three smiling faces, birds, flowers, and a shining sun.
So I’m telling everyone on the internet. Jeff is on his way to Nashville. And I wouldn’t have known if I’d spent my morning somewhere else, as planned.
Even so, tomorrow I’m going back to the new writing spot, the good place. Please, please let them open on time.