Sepala Weliwitigoda

Corner Street Coffee Shop

Corner Street Coffee Shop

The aroma of hazel nuts, smell it before you turn the corner, the wrought iron chairs and tables already taken, not even eight yet, the seats under the red umbrellas, all occupied, the line stretch outside the door, could be late to work, but seldom anyone leaves.

Double parked cars, meter maid not too far, alas! a bus landed in front of my car, how can I ever get out, left lane is closed, red cones, road work ahead, no way to move, chance to spend more time, enjoy the crowd in this place, herd mentality kicks in.

Monday mornings always crazy, weekenders starved of coffee are on jitters. Is it the presence of people that make coffee taste better? Their diversity, make you comfortable, they are people like you, free, a dollar has the same value irrespective of who tenders it. Is it this sense of community that makes a cup of coffee taste better?

Allen seated in the corner, his cup of coffee and bagel rest on a stack of day's newspapers, others looking for a paper to read, Allen oblivious to their need, a reasonable man, retired, an environmental engineer, energy his specialty, renewable sources of energy, sustainability, global warming, get an earful, interesting, matters pertinent to our planet's survival.  

An old style bicycle rests against the oak tree, a no nonsense man, John, economic journalist, spent years in Eastern Europe, a journal of his bicycle ride through the entire Eastern Europe, 2500 miles in all, a solitary ride, an uncertain, unpredictable adventure laid with unforeseen risks, a daredevil, for conversations with average East Europeans, free, free at last, with the fall of the Soviet empire, now in a quandary to choose one among seventeen varieties of yogurt, life was simple then, but no one is willing to go back to what it was. 

I call them "King Arthur's court", assembles every morning, occupies the large table in the middle, senior citizens they are, retired, pleasant friendly faces, sit around the table, court in session, talk, refresh, exchange ideas on current events, express their opinions, a part of their daily routine, never leave together, they drip away one by one.

A guy seated in the corner chair near the glass window, always in white shirt and khaki pants, talking to himself, sometimes loud, mostly issues of immigration, does not care who hears, refugees, fear of the unknown, nothing strange these days, big hat placed on his face and falls a sleep. 

I am a regular at the coffee shop, not so much for social interaction, but for social presence, just a good feeling of being in the midst of others, known or unknown  to me, feed the gregarious instincts, a sense of oneness. Coffee tastes good here.


  • JaneEVE

    Is it the presence of people that make coffee taste better? excellent line - I have wondered this, I'm not one for crowds, but I thought this poem, awesome.

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