The Flying Goat. Or simply, “The Goat,” to the locals. A place where you can’t escape foam on your upper lip, and after a cup of their finest brew you’ll feel as though you can fly. All around, you see business folk doing their business, hipsters fixing their fix, and socialites gathering with social urgency. The aroma sticks to your clothes instantly, but at the time you hardly notice, inhaling a second hand caffeinated atmosphere.
What better place to start then here? This is where the magic happens, so to speak: a square, wooden table measuring a meager 2 1/2 feet by 2 1/2 feet. There is just enough room for an 8 oz. mug of coffee, perfectly seasoned with a teaspoon of sugar and an ounce of cream. Sometimes in front of the coffee sits a modestly priced pastry or bagel. Beneath my bony bottom, a wooden bench with planks so uncomfortable, I can’t sit in the same position for more than 15 minutes before squirming to find a spot in between the cracks that fits better. This is my office, and I love it.
Many prolific writers called coffeehouses their headquarters: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Malcolm Gladwell to name a few. I’m not sure whether it’s the strong, organic, fair trade coffee or the atmosphere, or a mixture of both, but there is something about this place that spurs my creativity. I sometimes wonder how anyone is capable of concentrating in such an attention-deficit destination, yet I find myself among the crowd nearly every morning at approximately 10:30 a.m. I welcome the people, the noises, and occasional distractions. Sometimes it is silent, all but for the music in my ears. I look at the faces of the patrons, young and old, buzzed and barely breathing; now and then someone intrigues me enough to put his or her presence into prose. But generally I get lost in the rhythms of my tapping fingers.
Most regulars read the morning paper or novels, and scribble in notebooks. They drink espresso drinks like mochas, macchiatos, and lattes, and take their time. I am here to work, to take words and form them into sentences, and turn those sentences into stories. My coffee often turns cool and needs a warming before I type my final period.
I love to people watch and make inferences during my moments of writers block and get lost in the art that changes on a monthly basis. This month’s art is full of bright colors with geometrical shapes and birds, strikingly eye catching, beautiful and curious all at the same time. The multiple shades and colors have a textural appeal that makes me want to climb on top of the sea-foam green bar and touch them, remove the shapes and designs that are calling out to be taken.
It’s almost noon on a Thursday as I write this. This is what many of my mornings look like, and that’s how I want them to stay. Although I’ve run out of good ideas to write, I’ll sit here till I’m satisfied, trying to make a story out of coffee-riddled words. Oddly, it’s reached the point where, if I don’t come here, I don’t write. So if two dollars a day and an uncomfortable seat are what it takes to fulfill my caffeine addiction and write something of substance, then I will gladly oblige.