Thursday, February 14, 2008

Home, Caffeinated Home

I ended my workday today by going to a coffee shop that magically appeared to me sometime before Christmas during a major downpour. For a variety reasons, that afternoon I was walking home instead of taking a bus. While under an awning enjoying a respite from rafting, I noticed a sign advertising “Coconut Coffee and Caffeinated Company.”

Three or four steps down, next to a larch steamed up window, was a weathered wooden door with a brass thumb latch. Alice saw “Eat me” and “Drink me.” I heard “Open me!” With no further thought (of caterpillars, hookahs, queens, cats, or otherwise), I entered—and was indeed transported.

It is narrower than our kitchen and perhaps two and a half classrooms deep. There is jazz music overhead—and it is always jazz music overhead (a pleasant bit of consistency). Some tables are for one, one is for four. The couches each have a humorous, though mandated, occupancy sign encouraging everyone to share the space. The ceiling is low, the temperature warm, and the smell…ah, like a little bit of heaven.

It is small enough to feel intimate, lowbrow enough to feel like loose, broken in jeans, and tucked away enough (They’d actually been open for five years!) to make it feel a bit like the lost island of Atlantis.

Or, as I found this afternoon after a day that did in fact go straight downhill after a promising beginning correction to waking up with the grumps, a bit like a place where there’s an extra touch of air to breathe as I rock in a me sized hammock being pushed by the wind while she hums a lullaby just for me.

Alice went home. So did Dorothy. And so did I.

That’s the thing—a little healthy escape is vital. So long as we again come home.

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