Coffee Shop Chronicles: The 5 Senses

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Route 1, Princeton, NJ

September 2000


Why do we stop ourselves?

–5:42 PM–

There’s a woman here without socks on, sandals with toes sunning themselves as legs boldly thrust forward into the world.  Chunky heels, a firm step, a heavy stomp.  Somehow it makes them stronger.  Women who wear pointy high heels, they teeter-totter and tip over.  These are practical feet who want to walk.

My feet, also in sandals, while bare, they have an ankle strap.  These are easier to walk in, but don’t look as free.

It’s a Frappuccino night despite the A/C making it downright frosty in here.  I treasure my nights here, despite it being cold.  Without socks on, my feet are cold.  I definitely need a sweatshirt.

–6:25 PM—

A blonde haired mom and two kids walk in.  The round boy and the girl in a blue dress squeal and play hide-n-seek between her legs.  She says, “Hush!” when they yell.

I smile at her.  “They’re cute.”

“It saves them from a lot,” the mom replies.  “If they weren’t cute, they’d be in a lot more trouble.”

I flip through the book One Day My Soul Just Opened Up and it speaks of closure.  Famous Kitty Carlisle says to her reflection every morning, “I forgive you for yesterday.”

Be compassionate; it’s as simple as that.

–7:35 PM—

A little brunette girl walks in behind her dad.  She is all sunshine, excited about everything.  She pushes her dad’s unshaven but fit legs away as he almost steps on an ant.  The floor is dry.  She moves the “Beware. Wet.” yellow cone by the counter.  She is as free and expressive. as we all should be.

What prevents us from being our wonder-full selves?

Okay, I forgive myself for the pity party I threw myself on my previous journal pages.  I allow myself to move beyond my distress and enjoy the happiness I’ve been given.

I will not always be happy and I am allowed to dwell on the negatives for moments in time.  I forgive myself for being moody.

–8:50 PM—

I go up to the counter for my second venti Frappuccino and I smell flowers, like a shampoo or shower gel.  The scent is not overly floral sweet but like bubble gum candy.  It’s the woman behind me.

“What are you wearing?” I ask.  “It’s delightful.”

“It’s cucumber melon antibacterial gel from Bath & Body Works,” she says.  She wasn’t aware anyone else could smell it.  I don’t know why.

Her male companion pipes in.  “It’s a great smell, huh?”

“Do you use it?” I ask him.

He rubs his hands together.  “Sometimes she gives me some.”

“A man who appreciates a good scent,” I say with a proud nod.  The friendly couple smiles.

My second frapp is vanilla, but it doesn’t taste very vanilla-y.  I don’t feel like going up to get another one.

–9:00 PM—

Two guys now sit across from me, reading.  One of them takes notes on a yellow pad of paper.  He asks his friend about “syllogisms.”  I’ve heard of the word, and I wish I could interject with the answer, but they are both devastatingly cute.

They look older than your typical college student if that’s what they are.  Who else would read in a coffee shop?  Syllogism Guy has dark hair and a dark goatee.  He’s wearing a black shirt, black shoes holding a yellow highlighter in his right hand.  He reads from what looks like a library book.

It’s a quick glance I make because staring is too obvious.  I pretend my gaze radiates throughout the store.  Yep, I’m suave.

They discuss logic, both respectfully silent when the other one talks.  The only sound between them is of the pages turning.

The other guy, I’m attracted to his voice.  He argues respectfully with Syllogism Guy.  He wears faded blue jeans, a grey T-shirt and has dark hair.  His fit body is pleasing, too.  Could I be worthy of such a guy?

Should I give him my phone number?  The idea both thrills and scares me.  Be safe?  Or risk?  Another glance.  “Venti CM” is written on his cup.  Does that stand for Caramel Macchiato?  I could ask him.

His phone rings.  He ignores it.  He has sideburns.

Suddenly, Syllogism Guy closes his book.  They stand and walk out.  I was not courageous.  I watch them through the window as they drive around in a circle.  Rugged Voice left his coffee cup on the ground in the parking lot.

He’s too good not to be taken.  If he’s here next week, I’ll talk to him and offer my phone number for sure.  After all, what’s the harm in that?

He may have thought the same of me.


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    • Sue Remisiewicz on July 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm
    • Reply

    Nice slices of life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you. It is the little things, isn’t it?

    • Barbara Pattee on July 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm
    • Reply

    Great observations. Fun read.

    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. I hope it gave you a new perspective on things.

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