Admittedly, I am not the coolest person in the world. I do not know the popular music of the day (“People still like Chumbawumba, right?”) and I have never seen, read, or paid any attention to anything involving “Twilight.” I do not know anything about Tom Cruise’s divorce aside from the fact that Cruise is involved in it.
In fact, it seems that I have not experienced many of the things that people deem cool. Amongst my generation, though, there seems to be one thing that every cool person does. Two if you count using one’s Facebook status update to complain about Facebook, but the one is much more prevalent.
I have never written in a coffee shop.
Every coffee shop I go into, I see dozens of people who look like me and talk like me. Instead of enjoying their coffee, though, they are tapping away at their MacBooks (they all have MacBooks) as if they are trying to disarm a nuclear weapon before the world is blown into thousands of tiny worldlettes.
I enjoy every last bit of my caffeinated beverage, sinking into the bliss that my drug of choice provides. All the while, these people continue typing. I watch as they all ignore their beverages, focused more on the evil contraption in front of them.
Staring, I think through the possible appeal that this locale could provide a person who is clearly writing something very important. It is noisy. It is dark. Some group of people will inevitably come in and yell about how much they love this establishment’s coffee before they dump five packets of sweetener and half a pitcher of cream into their perfectly flavored beverage.
Something, though, must be great about writing here. After all, dozens of Apple-toting hipsters cannot be wrong.
This was my thought as I found myself toting my Dell Inspiron (Already, I’m not cool enough to be here) in the front door of a coffee shop. I ordered my iced Chai latte (It is a manly drink. I don’t care what you say.), then had a seat. A few seconds later, my computer set in front of me and I was ready to type…
This is not a rare thing. I suffer from writer’s block roughly eight times a day. I began to stand up, ready to pace back and forth until an idea comes into my head. This is usually a great way to come up with an idea. It is like the pacing knocks something in my head loose and magically I am able to remember the English language.
As I stood up, though, I noticed no one else was pacing. In fact, no one was standing. Apparently coffee shop writing is sitting activity.
I set back down, feeling stressed. Places like this should have an area set aside for pacing. That would be great customer service. Instead, I would have to shirk my normal routine to get this written.
After about three seconds, I noticed something I had never noticed before: coffee shops are cold. They are freezing. I thought about asking if I could microwave my iced chai latte, though I am pretty sure that is considered rude.
There I sat, listening to an old Justin Timberlake song and wishing that a fire would break out just to warm my freezing fingertips. And I could not write a thing. Nothing.
People my age do crazy things. We get tattoos of obscure languages so that we can look deep. We listen to music that is far from enjoyable because it would be lame to say we like Willie Nelson. We grow moustaches because it is ironic. We think that the definition of ironic is a moustache we would not normally grow.
In my book, writing in a coffee shop falls into that same category. I would rather sit at a temperature controlled desk in my own home. I could choose my own music and pace at my own leisure.
I would not, however, get an iced chai latte. Maybe they will deliver…