Saturday, June 29, 2013

Writing at the Corner Bakery Cafe

I went to the Corner Bakery Cafe in Draper this morning. After a toasted sourdough panini breakfast sandwich I uncapped my pen and took a few minutes to write in my notebook.
There's a lady in one of the stuffed chairs in front of me. Laid back, reading and looking at pictures on her Kindle in the landscape position. Her fingers held thoughtfully to her lips, gripping a stylus that she never uses. Black windbreaker, matching stylish black cap, bright fuchsia shirt. Her blond hair in a faux wind-blown style sticking out from under the cap, narrow reading glasses, olive capri shorts. All the pieces in place, but the sum is less than the parts. In spite of all the effort it still feels like she's in a house dress with curlers—if anyone still wears curlers in their hair.
A couple tables away sits a soccer mom with her teenage son and his friend. They're in their high school soccer uniforms, she's pulled out knitting needles and a ball of dark grey yarn and is furiously knitting away while interrogating the friend. They're silently chewing and texting except for the occasional barely-audible grunt replies and barely-visible eye contact while she desperately pecks away at their teenage ennui.
After a few minutes to myself writing, I take a deep breath and the world feels right, at least for a little while. Not the best writing, not the worst. But at least I spent a few moments capturing my observations.


  1. What is incredible to me about the slowness and patience of these few captured observations is, that either of these two momentary crossers of your day could become characters in some novel someday. The precision with which you stole their images and trapped them on your blank paper made them yours. Parts of them, of course, perhaps not the sums of their parts, but characters nonetheless. Beautiful.

    1. Thanks Elaine, you're right. I've done that before, observed someone in a restaurant and got lost wondering and writing about their background, what brought them to be here, right now, sipping their coffee, reading the paper...