Do you ever sit in a coffee shop and just
The environment is perfect for people watching.
Especially today in downtown Minneapolis. It’s Saturday and a variety of activities are going on, like any weekend in the city. I grow instantly curious as soon as I sit down. Not only to I overhear the small details of people’s orders, but I notice things like the baristas singing along to the “Starbucks” cd they’ve been corporately instructed to play.
One particular barista has a noticeably beautiful voice. He knows all the words and sings louder than the others while he creates non fat cappuccinos. His curly red hair creates a mini afro. He seems to be great at his job. He interacts with customers and greets everyone kindly.
A group of eight tween-aged ballerinas enter. They giggle and talk about the dance class they just came from. Each of them has their hair in a neat bun, apart from one girl. Her dance class updo is falling out. That was me at 12 in ballet; I loved ballet, loved the art form, but I hated the instruction to have a perfect bun. “Creative minds are rarely tidy” I thought. Ballet forced me to focus on creating perfect lines, perfect motions that lived up to the French demure created long ago. I loved that about ballet. I could express myself while challenging myself. However, I could never get that bun just perfect, without a few wispies sticking out of my head.
These little dancer muses addressed the frizzy-haired barista as “Sam”. They must have come in a lot; maybe it was their ritual, even.
Sam seems joyed to see returning customers. But I can’t help but wonder what he’s really after in life. Maybe he attends the Art Institute down the block? Maybe he’s in the city to pursue a musical career? Or maybe, maybe he has things all figured out already and he’s merely working at Starbucks to pass the time.
I’ll never know anything more about Sam’s life. Isn’t that crazy? I’ll also know where the gym-goers are headed post-gym-Starbucks run. Who here is a regular? Who pulled over into a metered spot because they couldn’t resist a cup of java?
I just sit here, in all of my black clothing. Editing my photos, creating blogposts. Getting caught up on emails, etc.
I notice a tall dark man wearing all black. Just like me. Black scarf, jacket, clothing. Funny enough, we also have matching black photo backpacks. So he’s a photographer, too. I wonder if he’s here to edit, like me, or if he’s headed on a shoot on this cloudy, cold day. His wife is soon at his shoulder and they are a beautiful African American couple.
I’ve known it’s been cloudy all the hours I’ve been here so far, the natural light being let in the room is that of a dreary day. I didn’t notice the rain until now, however. I notice the sidewalk is wet. People are moving hurriedly. I begin to dread going outside.
Two hours. I still have two hours before I need to dash across the street to be at my boss’s editing office in the Target Center.
I suppose I should get back to editing my photos. And of course, I’ll be undeniably people watching.
Sam is sweeping now; he even sweeps to the rhythm of the music playing. I’ve learned enough from my musically inclined friends in college to understand a person who’s passionate about music: it’s in everything they do. Their mannerisms, their speaking voice, the way they use their hands to assemble small tasks like coffee pots. It’s beautiful.
Okay, seriously this time.