For the past year I’ve been spending most Saturday mornings at a little coffee shop on Damen Ave. with my writing partner Kristin. Over the months our newest book has been taking shape fueled by massive amounts of coffee (what else?), the smell of bacon smoke in the air, occasional 80’s power ballads, and the general feeling that we’re trying to make a difference in the world.
Most of these mornings were spent on a big green leather couch stationed at the back of the room. An ideal place for writing, people watching, and generally overseeing the goings on of the coffee shop. One recent morning I walked in to find that the couch had been moved.
My first thought was “what the heck? why did they move the couch?”
My second thought was “what is in its place?!?” There in the back of the room hogging the space that our beloved couch had once lived in was a retro reddish orange kitchen table. I glared at it in disgust and distrust.
Our beloved green home had been moved to the front of the coffee shop, right in the middle of the chaos and was now joined by another couch. It was an overall unwelcome change. Now chaos abounded around us, other people invaded our space, and our writing mojo was thrown by the constant din of the door banging shut.
“The music is too loud.”
“The light is all wrong.”
“There’s a draft here.”
“It’s too far from the outlet.”
The next week I felt anxious walking in the door. I trudged slowly to the back of the coffee shop and set my bag down tentatively on the table. I unpacked slowly, hesitantly as if the table might blow up at any minute. As I set up my computer I ran my fingers over the tacky laminate surface noting the old coffee stains, the scratches along the edge. This table had history. This table had a story to tell. It was then that I thought perhaps it was fate, that this table was put here for a purpose. A storytelling table for two storytellers.