So here’s the thing. Sometimes the people of the world suck and they are all conspiring to make me late and take advantage, especially when I’m already late for work or when I’m standing in line at the supermarket and that really annoying woman can’t find her bank card in her purse (okay I’m speaking on behalf of the guy who was standing behind me).
And here’s the other thing. I used to really beat myself up about liking Starbucks. It was my guilty pleasure. Like, couldn’t I be a bit more alternative, pu-lease? And besides not being hip, it was not in line with my beliefs. It felt like I was eating at McDonalds. I felt so commercial, so globalized, and like I was personally robbing from the poor and giving to the rich.
I do believe we choose the world we want to live in by the choices we make. But…
The chairs are just so damn comfortable there! It’s like being in your own living room, with all the comforts of home but without the distractions of an open fridge and laundry that needs washing. It makes me productive and it takes me out of too much introspection or just plain boredom. I see people there.
I used to feel ashamed. Shouldn’t I be somewhere more Swiss?
Now I fully embrace the transformative powers of Starbucks. I go there expecting it even.
Take this Sunday. I woke up after too little sleep, like most Sundays, and without the compulsion to sit at my desk, light the big cinnamon candle and write something. So, when Martin turned on the TV to watch the downhill ski racing, I quickly got dressed and headed off for a bit of enlightenment in the form of a frothy drink and a velvet armchair.
You know, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with anything and I’m kind of getting the feeling that I should have written this yesterday when I was feeling the love and interconnectedness of the whole universe and all the people in it.
It was the man sitting across from me. We shared a small round table for our big mugs and he was taking notes from his i-pad, drawing a pyramid and all kinds of descriptions coming off it, and I kept my head down with my journal, avoiding the eye-contact that could make our shared space awkward. This is modern city life, is it not?
But then things changed. At one point I got up and went downstairs (okay it was to get another beverage) and left all my stuff with him, then he got up and asked me to look after his i-pad. We trusted each other. At that point he realized I was not a native and maybe he said ‘thank you’ when he came back. Another time I looked up because he was tearing his page of notes and they ripped with unabashed crispness. I started wondering and probably he wondered too. What was it that I had so much to write about?
And it’s not that we were flirting (because why would I write that here?) but I started to feel a bond with this guy and at the same time with all human kind. There was one moment when he looked up and so did I and our eyes met for one moment of nakedness. It was a revelation in this big old (sometimes lonely) world.
I really felt that I loved him and everyone else too then. I felt that I understood the world and that it was my job just to love. Maybe it’s all our jobs to love everyone and not exclusively.
Or maybe they just make damn good coffee.
Anyway, perhaps I’m overly sensitive but I felt bad when I left. We said our good-byes and off I went into the foreignness of Sunday, a stranger again.
But this got me thinking. People are just so excellent. And I think we should remember that.
When you’re in love with the world, the world loves you right back.