Monday, January 23, 2006

From coffee shops to bathrooms

Gone are the days of toting stacks of books into a coffee shop, finding the perfect table, (for me, I liked to be positioned where I could view newcomers while remaining somewhat out of a traffic pattern), and settling in for a long afternoon of reading my numerous volumes and journaling my thoughts. My mind was streched during those times of study as I soaked in our cultural atmosphere of intellectual and social stimulation: the coffee shop.

Now I choose a different climate of study: I traded my dark-stained wooden chair and matching table for a toilet seat and vanity top. My "Venti quad nonfat extra hot caramel Machiato in a to-go cup" has been replaced with re-heated drip coffee flavored by caramel Vanilla Coffee Mate in a souvenir mug from Pennsylvania. Instead of the buzz of background conversations and espresso machines, I now hear calming water splashes mixed with conversations between two ducks. The interruptions I used to endure of friends coming to my table to say hello are gone now. However, I am now interrupted with requests to observe some new use of a plastic cup. The irritations of annoying laughter while in the middle of a difficult thought are no more, although I still find myself interrupted by the constant fear of the ominous drain at the end of tub.

I used to sit back from my studying to watch the ever changing, always busy atmosphere of coffee shops; soak in the stimulating air around me, perhaps strike up a conversation with a fellow member of adult society. Now I sit back from that same study, gaze over to the bathtub on the other side of the room, and take in the miracle and joy of the little boy playing in the tub. I may even strike up conversation with him...a fellow member of my society.

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