Open Letters

An Open Letter to People in Coffee Shops in the Middle of the Day

Dear People in Coffee Shops in the Middle of the Day,

Hi! I have a lot of questions about you! See, like you, I am one of the people who can sometimes be found in a coffee shop in the middle of the day, and I cannot help but wonder about my café-squatting brethren. I mean, I know why I am here – I am a writer and sometimes I get bored writing from home and thus a switch in location leads me to the closest coffee shop. But what about you? It’s almost 3pm on a Tuesday and you are in a coffee shop! Are you like me? I want to know what you are doing here and I want to know your story! I want to know everything about all of these people in the coffee shop in the middle of the day!

What are you doing? Are you on Facebook? Instagram? Tumblr? All three at once? Are you inventing a new social media website? Are you emailing with someone? Who? What are they saying? Are you writing? What are you writing? Is it a script? A book? An essay on coffee shop aesthetics? Are you lonely? Are you employed? Is this your job? Doesn’t it annoy you to have that plate of crumbs sitting on the table for hours on end? Wouldn’t you just go and throw it out by now? How much coffee have you had? Would you still come here even if they didn’t have free wifi? What did you do before free wifi existed? Who is your favorite superhero? Do you have any single guy friends? Do you think I’ll meet my boyfriend in this coffee shop? Do you like the music they are playing? Are you as creeped out by that one weird dude in the corner as I am?

It’s weird because if you go to a coffee shop in the middle of the day in just about any city (and probably some small towns, too!) there will always people in that coffee shop. People you might see once and never again. People who could be visiting, people who could be your next door neighbor who you’ve never met. It’s a strange existence, the coffee shop life, because I have so many questions and am so very curious about all the other people I occasionally encounter during my coffee shop visits, and yet I never actually talk to anyone or ask anyone who anyone is or what anyone is doing. That’s the thing – we’re all here for a purpose, and whatever that purpose is, because we know there is one, it’s as though the café-dwellers abide by a code. Everyone is often polite but has very little interaction with each other.

The people who go to coffee shops in the middle of the day are unified by their purpose and desire to be in the coffee shop and protected by this shared intention, even though some of us are strangers and we’ll never meet and I’ll never know what you are writing on your computer and what music you are listening to and where you came from and where you are going to.

I am writing this letter to you and I was listening to the new Solange album, “Truth” which is really good but now I am listening to the new Bjork album, “bastards” which is really weird and I came from my house and I’ll go back there soon.

What about you?




Coffee shop photo via vtravelled blog

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