Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My cafe'

The cafe is small, with mismatched tables and paper menus.

Creamers fill bowls, and condiments in red and yellow bottles sit alongside a paper napkin dispenser.

Home made desserts are on display and the smell of grease and fried food fills up the air.

The salad bar is lacking, to say the least.

The food is average, and the dessert is phenomenal, but that isn't the reason anyone comes.

It is a meeting place.

The moment you walk in you feel a blast of warmth.

The heater is cranked, easing the pain of the 32 degree weather when you walk in.

I shuffle in and sit at my usual spot.

I make eye contact with the other costumers and they smile and give me a nod.

I am still a stranger, even though I've come once or twice a week for over a month.

The rest, have known each other for years.

Decades maybe.

Three tables are pushed together, and surrounded by a group of white haired men.

Flannel shirts, blue jeans, and beaten up John Deere hats seem to be the unspoken dress code.

A trucking logo found on vinyl coats and a pair of thick glasses is also quite common.

I watch their weathered hands roll dice and pass back and fourth their dollar bills and quarters.

A round of laughter is served alongside their coffees.

The waitress dons her half white apron and a t'shirt with the cafe's logo printed on it.

She knows all their names.

They nod their acknowledgment and say something along the lines of "I'll take the usual, Pam!" or "Coffee, black."

A man enters several minutes after me.

It takes him several minutes to reach the table, even if it's only a few feet away.

He makes his rounds.

It would be impolite to miss even one table.

A reminder of a church event at one.

"Did you go hunting this year?" at another.

Everyone knows everyone.

They are a family.

A tight knit group.

When he finally reaches the table a round of hellos and grunts goes around.

The man pulls out his handful of dollar bills for the game of dice.

A rather robust man to his right tells him the same "dirty joke" he's told three times already.

Nothing too vulgar, but just enough to make these ex-soldiers hoot and holler.

Around Veterans day they took turns sharing horror stories of war.

Each one worse then the next.

I believe them all.

Their wrickles cover their faces and deepen when they smile or furrow.

Usually this correlates with whether or not they are winning or losing at dice.

The table seems constantly full.

When one leaves, another takes his place.

They tip their waitresses a quarter or two, and leave with another round of goodbyes at each table.

They'll be back again tomorrow.

Another round of coffees.

Another game of dice...

Another long conversation filled with stories, half truths, and jokes.

And I know that when I come back that I can count on the same smiles, nods, and warm feeling that I feel every time I walk into this place.

It is a piece of time untouched.

It is my piece of heaven and escape.

I hope each and everyone of you can find a place just like this.

A place where you can step back in time...

A place to be surrounded by history.


JoJo said...

That sounds pretty cool. I never stop long enough to take in my surroundings. Everything in the city is so quick and fast paced. I want a place too.

Rebekah said...

How neat. I love sitting back in a place and just observing people and what they're doing.

Rebecca said...

we shoud all have a plce like this to go and meet with friends

Amber said...

Loved this! I know exactly what you are describing. It sounds just like my hometown cafe, that I miss a lot, but when we go home to visit it's like we never left! Same people, same tables!!

Unknown said...

Lol the coffee shop here is like that and my grandpa use to go every day.. at one point he even had a key to the place lol.. He would get there before everyone and make coffee lol

Copyboy said...

Yeah I'm a career cafe watcher too. :)

Iris Flavia said...

Very nice post! Wish I could take the courage to that, too!

Rachel said...

I absolutely love your writing! That was so awesome!!


Jumble Mash said...

I do not have a place like this and now I'm jealous. I will hunt for a place like this, now. It sounds awesome!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautiful!!! I want to join you next week!

Blogs said...

Haha.....I do it all the time....but i have no friends to meet daily, weekly or even monthly...ur right...i must move from here now...lol

Jillian said...

um wow! This was a great piece. I loved the deatil, the conversation pattern ... amazing

Jessica said...

Sounds like a wonderful place!

Aimee said...

This is beautiful. I love having my place. My place is my hookah lounge :)

Dancy said...

I love this. It's like being transported into one of those movies/shows about Texas high school football. It's got the quality of a writing workshop exercise... love it!

Nicole said...

My dad would call that the Old Liar's Table ;)