Sunday, April 26, 2015

COFFEE GRINDS

Got up relatively early this morning, walked a small stretch of the Vancouver seawall and wound up in a favorite bakery, enjoying a scone while writing. It’s a good start. Once I pick up my Sunday New York Times, chances of writing become slim. I become consumed.

I’m a writer with ADD. It’s a self-diagnosis. I go in short spurts, flitting from café to café. I do love a strong cup of coffee and the bustle of activity helps me feel as though I have company while working alone. (The people watching amuses, too. No telling when or how something I observe or overhear will find its way into a manuscript.)

But cafés are not just my writing hangouts. They are where I typically meet guys for that first, and usually final, meet-and-greet after an initial online dating site connection. This morning’s spot is no exception. I’ve only been at this location of the local bakery chain once, perhaps three years ago. Maybe four. Time flies when you’re working your way through the online parade of gay men professing to want a relationship. (Really, I’m not so sure what they want anymore.)

At this location, I chatted with Steve, an avid marathon runner. He showed up in running gear. No post-run sweaty smell. Perhaps he just wanted to be properly attired in case he needed to make an emergency exit. It was one of those puzzling dates—nothing overtly wrong, but something not quite right. Nice guy, but no real connection despite having surface things in common.

He didn’t flee during coffee. Instead, he escaped a week later. He messaged me to say he’d enjoyed our chat but had accepted a job in Edmonton. People don’t usually leave Vancouver for Edmonton. I blame myself. (Coincidentally, I just took a writing break and peeked at OkCupid to see who had visited my profile of late. No joke, a certain Steve in Edmonton. What timing! Apparently, things are no rosier in the land of black flies.)

It’s funny to have moldy coffee grinds from past dates all over the city. At some point business owners will appeal to city council to ban me from all establishments. Then I’ll have to learn to write on park benches or—here’s a novel idea—from my own home.

For now, I’ll try to try to push aside foggy memories of fizzled firsts and appreciate the ambience as I continue to write in dating graveyards.

3 comments:

oskyldig said...

There is something to be said about graveyards... They have that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that adds allure and intrigue.

Rural Gay said...

I do like cemeteries as well. Very peaceful places, filled with stories. I just prefer them when the subjects are clearly dead. :)

Rick Modien said...

As always, well done, RG. Clever, poignant, and funny. I don't know how you do it.