Books and coffee. Words and aromas. Stimulation of the senses.
Taking time in the local Barnes and Noble cafe has long been one of my favorite pastimes. I peruse the aisles looking for new titles to consider, new characters to get to know and new worlds to visit. This used to be our Sunday night date night for my youngest daughter and I, and while she has temporarily outgrown this tradition, I keep coming back, because some of my best friends are books.
Yet just a few feet to my right, there is a counter that divides the bookstore from the cafe. And behind that counter, the barista brews order after order. The stories she enjoys come up to the counter, sometimes smiling, sometimes crabby, but always wanting something from her. Always needing. Always asking. Always pouring out their words. The aromas welcome me, but I wonder if they don’t stalk her, relentlessly, in layer after layer of clothing. Books just out of reach. Quiet interrupted every few moments by another person needing another cup or another bite or another shot when all she wants is to get lost in the solitude that rests just beyond the counter.
This is my happy place. My escape. My weekly retreat.
She just wants to escape.