Alright. We’ve figured out the source of my varying afflictions: I’ve got bronchitis. Cheers. It certainly explains the foggy week I’ve had. Not the best—and certainly it did not end as such. However, I came home to find a ring-necked dove eating the chicken scratch laid out in my yard, and that was rather nice and beautiful to see. I hope she comes back. I love menageries in favor of the sadder days.
Anyway, I was going to write more about my trip—but I spent the afternoon instead daydreaming over a martini. And I’d like to keep the happy, dreamy thoughts around, so I will write on that instead.
I have this incredibly commonplace dream of opening a coffee shop. I have the name all picked out (I cannot tell you, of course), but it is perfect for the purpose it would serve.
I’d have books. Lots of them donated from my library at home (I’m closer to two thousand at this point and needing some spatial reprieve). I’d have a little log book, or a card system, that would allow you to check one out if so desired.
There would be plants, and big windows that let in lots of light. Couches, cushions, and plush vibrant rugs to sit on. A lot of dark hardwood surfacing, as every tortured artist must possess. If this was Europe, my cat would be here too. But health department dictates what it must, so instead I would stock the backs of couches with plush blankets.
We’d talk about things. We’d have meetings and group sessions because community is nothing without enrichment. Our children are the future of the places in which we reside. It would be a learning center. One night perhaps we’d have a class on knitting or painting—on another, I’d work with groups of writers. Maybe a night spent on philosophy; one on language arts. Maybe a communal suggestion jar that dictates all the topics that we would discuss. On Thursdays we’d have open mic poetry night for members of our community, students and adults alike.
There would be free coffee for those who can’t afford it, and free coffee for our teachers. A station stocked with school supplies—highlighters, paper, pens, pencils, and post-it notes. If I was rich enough, I’d loan out laptops to the students who had no such thing at home, and offer free printing from the back.
Once a month we’d have coffeehouse singers with acoustic guitars and hipster beards and glasses with no lenses. Precious mustard yellow beanies. Singing out their souls. And, of course, a patio for dogs.
In the summers, I’d do craft nights for the children of our community. A book club for the mommas paired with wine and cheese. Liquor licenses are expensive, but if the fathers wanted a Whitman and whiskey night, I’d certainly turn a blind eye to flasks emptied out into a mug of tea.
We’d have the best Wifi and be open late—I remember the frustration in Grad School of finding a coffee shop to study in past 8:00 PM. If you need to do your homework come on down and stay awhile there are no rules for who can and cannot sit.
I would offer free editing for student papers (I’ve done this long enough, what’s a few more) and pair up needy students with local tutors who have an hour or two to spare.
I’d have to hire a baker, because I have a habit of sinking every cake I bake or making them too dense. But everybody has a talent—finding someone who won’t fuck up a lemon loaf is not a fear of mine.
So, yeah. I have this dream. To own a little coffeehouse. One that would be a pillar of our community. A place for learning; for discussion. For culture. Where kids could gather and talk. Where we could derive change and make waves.
I think I’ll try it out before I go. I’ve got a little time left yet.
(also, if you know what the featured image is from, and if I ever open up my coffee shop, your comment is a voucher for a free mug on me).