Posts Tagged ‘working’
Video caption: Yeah, there’s a Johnny Cash thing lately, courtesy of the universe. Also, I was thinking over the summer that I should make a rather large stencil saying “don’t take your guns to town, son,” but I haven’t done it, so I hereby give it up to the idea machine in the sky.
So I’m on the coffee shop circuit these days. It’s been several years since I spent significant amounts of time working alone in a public place. What is it about that tradition? It makes me all blogging-compulsive, you see. I will not blog on Facebook. I will not blog on Facebook. I will not blog on Facebook. I bought my name for a domain, like a true child of the nineties, and so should use it, whether I have naught to say or otherwise? Truth be know, blogging keeps Chester at bay. What’s that? Oh, Chester? Yeah, we’ll talk about him at some point. Or not. All you need to know right now is that he’s pretty much responsible for my choices here, although only stylistically speaking, you understand. Also, I think that my mom is the only one really reading this site, which is good, because I owe her letters anyway? Hi mom!
If it’s before eight in the morning, I’m usually at the Panera on Grand, then later MoKaBe’s or Hartford, with apologies to the fine establishments on Cherokee. It’s a proximity to workplace thing. Also, Panera has a tasty granola parfait with low-fat organic yogurt, maple butter pecan granola, whole grain oats and fresh strawberries, and I’m OK with being the person who eats that. It’s pretty healthy. I know, it’s a franchise, probably one step removed from Starbucks (where I also go in an emergency, can’t be helped), but Panera has offices in St. Louis and I know people who work in them, so that’s practically buying local, right? And so to such mental dialogs I am reduced each morning, but Panera it is! MoKaBe’s doesn’t even open until 8:00AM, and the last thing I need is to be chain smoking at such an early hour. (If you’re not familiar with South St. Louis, MoKaBe’s is the last of the rare breed of coffee shops that permit smoking. Even I was baffled upon my first visit there, and that was probably ten years ago.)
I think it was last week the sacrosanct Panera peace was disturbed by the hammering and stapling of chairs being reupholstered on site. Turns out this was due to an early morning fight in the back corner of the dining area between some students of Roosevelt High School. There’s a girl from Roosevelt (you can tell because the students who attend public school have to wear uniforms) who sits at the same booth mornings and texts for a while, and there’s also usually one homeless-seeming guy or another dozing at the far back table, but that’s no trouble. I think today he’s actually job hunting, circling ads in the paper. By far the most disturbing morning was an accidental placement by a group of people who had been lately been reading Ayn Rand. Now there’s an aged gentleman on his cell phone telling a story involving the line, “He said he had a gun, and I said, yeah, I’ve got one too, whaderwegonnadoaboutit?” Oh, South side.
My favorite Panera citizen is the dude who, every morning without fail, works standing up, coffee in a china mug, wearing headphones, pen hanging out of his mouth, surrounded by well-worn legal pads, occasionally humming a few bars of something before catching himself. He’s intense. I secretly hope he’s crafting a novel or writing some software that will change my life, but he’s probably just earning his black belt in Six Sigma or something.* He’s pretty preppy and has a Dell laptop, so you know, whatever, it’s cool. His shoes don’t have duct tape on them or anything, but I don’t know what kind they are yet. I haven’t been able to catch a glimpse of his watch, because he typically wears a sweater.**
Pause: The elderly man with a red cordury blazer AND a large walking stick AND a flowered messenger bag has just sat down across from me. This requires my brief attention.
Back! I think I should definitely get a large walking staff. I need that in my life. But I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off very well. Also, update, Mr. I’ve-Got-A-Gun-Too-Son is now, predictably, discussing the Rams.
Anyway, about intensely-works-while-standing-up-dude. When I was younger and single-ish, I would have just asked him what his deal is, but chatting up strange men these days is a total hassle. Maybe he’s writing a blog about the people who hang out at the South Grand Panera. Ha, I’m rusty at this stuff, huh? Meta! Ugh.
Speaking of chatting up strange men, did I tell you about Don? I didn’t chat him up, ’twas the other way ’round, but the story, such as it is, bears repeating from a colloquial perspective. Tomorrow.
*Please note that these comments are not meant to disparage or otherwise mock any of the lovely Six Sigma wielding fellows of my acquaintance. I have a tone to maintain here, and it worked, sorry. However, if I’m going to make fun of you, we’ll do that properly, over cocktails.
**What? These are CLUES. They teach us this stuff in girl school. Or in business school, I forget. No, definitely girl school.