Monday, February 23, 2009

Starbuckswars, or the benefits of a home officeship

Can you imagine Han Solo writing poetry or designing graphics at that intergalactic cafe? The one filled with multinational species with hyper animated expressions and tenticles. Nah. And yet, here we are.

I'm at my local Starbucks. Crowded, as usual. But add to this that one older gentleman is using his laptop to watch something without headphones. In French. La Vie En Rose just came on over the jello toned medley on the Starbucks sound system. Usually white noise but not when laptop and lyrics are competing in a language that nags my ear with the one word in ten that I recognize.

I believe I came here to concentrate. What I have learned is how the posters on the phone booth, just outside, are changed. A van arrived, a youngish guy in a hoodie got out with rolled paper and a drill, he took the frames off the two ends, carefully pulled free the translucent rigid white backing, placed them gently on the pavement, took the old posters into the back of his truck, and in movements balletic from repetition, spun, unfurled the new ads, pressed them against their support, lifted that into place against the glass, kneeled, screwed the frames in place and stepped into this coffee shop. I looked up again and he and the truck were gone.

I could not actually hear the drill, but I felt as if I had. Not to mention the several conversations in English over cell phones with words like anyway and um popping into my peripheral ear.

The older gentleman is using a magnifying glass to decode his keyboard while discussing something with himself. No, oh god, he is singing along with Jacques Brel. I think my socializing hour is over.

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