A Territorial Dispute
LIKE MOST PEOPLE I AM A CREATURE OF HABIT. I tend to want to do today what I did yesterday and I don’t like anybody to mess with that – and by extension – me. His morning I was faced with such a situation
Just about every day I start my conscious activities down the street at St. Arbucks. I get my coffee, as usual, and then I stumble to my table in the corner, as usual. Sip coffee. Take meds. Plug in phone. Write. That’s it – nothing fancy, but critical nonetheless.
Today everything was moving along swimmingly until I turned the corner and prepared myself to hunker down in the corner.
THERE WERE PEOPLE SITTING AT MY TABLE!
I hit the brakes and executed a sharp left turn trying to make my action appear nonchalant. I stopped to pick up a few more napkins, all the while eyeing the interlopers. There were two of them – College Students. What kind of College Students are up at this time of day? Shouldn’t they be somewhere sleeping one off? What are they doing here – Studying? They both had their computers on and open textbooks. It looked suspicious to me.
Because my usual spot was not available I was forced to seek another shelter from the storm of sensory input. In MY corner I am safe and secure to work without intrusion, but now I must try to write in the maelstrom of Starbucks at 7 AM.
In the opposite corner there was a small group of early morning regulars. No matter what time I show up they are already sitting there. I think they sleep over. They could be a Senior Citizen group of night watchmen.
“John, why don’t you come over here and join us.”
Not my idea of an ideal solution, but what’s a man to do? Armed intervention was not feasible, nor was throwing a tantrum at my table until the usurpers would get up and run for the door. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. So, I pulled up a chair and joined the Geezers in the corner.
Talk about a good way to not get anything done. The minute I sat down they started asking questions about things that could only be called trivia. I tried to ignore them. I even took out my notebook and pen and tried to write something, anything, to avoid being sucked into their conversation. It was barely 7 AM. I don’t want to try to recall the name of the captain of the USS Pueblo (Look it up. I’m not going to rehash it here.).
You see what I was faced with? One simple diversion from my routine and I was tossed into a Societal and Intellectual Salad Spinner. I am like an electric train, a Lionel – the kind you set up under the Christmas tree. As long as nothing gets in my way I can just keep going around and around, minding my own business. BUT…if someone puts something in my way or lets the cat sleep on the tracks I get derailed and the cat gets hissy.
I don’t know what kind of solution I can initiate to prevent this from happening again – short of buying my very own Starbucks and roping off the corner table. I do find that idea attractive, but quite beyond the power of my wallet to pony up the cash.
So, here I sit, brokenhearted. I came to write, but soon departed.