Stories From My Cafe Days

“She Wanted Me To Help Her Bury Her Heart” -Part I

She was different from the rest!

She was ‘alive’! You couldn’t miss that if you had met her!

She was beautiful in a very unique way! Big curious and very smart, hazel eyes. Her hair..oh it’s hard to describe her hair! She changed it a lot! Whenever her mood struck or so it seemed! But on that day, it was cut much shorter! It barely reached her shoulders! Yet it really suited her.

She said she took her poultry shears to her long locks a few days earlier! I pictured her snapping away, as if, she was cutting off tentacles to her …pain! She affirmed that image when she said, she watched the snippets of hair fall down…and with them..her pain eased…a little. Then she giggled! Her usual nervous giggle.

It was unusually quiet that afternoon at the shop, when she walked in! As if, some mysterious power, blocked the roads with huge boulders, and kept people from showing up! So ‘she’ could tell her story uninterrupted!

I was busy organizing some lower shelves and doing a quick inventory! But then there she was! Smiling at me as my head raised above the surface of the counter!

Her smile was there, but her eyes had an ominous look! I knew something was up!

I was right!

We sat down! She stirred the spoon nervously inside her cup! Then tossed it on the saucer! I could read her uneasiness.

I remained quiet, waiting for her to begin. All while hoping, my smile was encouraging enough for her first words to emerge! And after a few seconds of silence they did! It was ‘him’! Again.

I sighed….

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Photo: Joel Overbeck/Unsplash

Stories From My Café Days

She said it ‘there’ll be no more!’. She repeated that sentence to herself! ‘There’ll be no…more’. She was tired! Tired of feeling too much!

She went outside her coffee shop to breath some ‘unemotional’ air. To have a little break from it all! But then, she continued walking. She left. She Opened the glass door to the parking lot, looking unsuspiciously ‘normal’! As usual, just out for a little break! …No she wasn’t!

To her own bafflement, that one afternoon, she actually continued walking towards her car, got in and drove away.

She didn’t drive far. In fact, she only drove to ‘another’ empty parking lot not even 5 minutes away! Turned off the ignition! Undid her confining seatbelt and..just…sat there.

Little did she know, ‘there will be many more’! She will be repeating that unexplainable inarticulable act of driving 5 minutes away, in the days, months and even years to come!

It was her escapism from…people’s suddenly emptied suitcases of stories and emotions right in front of her eyes! Right on that counter. And just like a skilled TSA agent, she watched herself getting better and better, at quickly stuffing all those bits and pieces of their stories back in, and quietly pointing to the next table, away from the lineup! Somewhere quieter to sort through all the…stuff!

Some days, there were anguish, heavy old and new disappointments, and even tragedies. All escaping out of their mouths and eyes…derivatives of the stories in their suitcases. All seeping in..into her skin! Leaving unseen, but deeply felt bruises! Felt only by…her.

Middle aged women with sad love lives, or sad family lives! Younger women with sad love lives, and/or sad family lives. Men wanting to describe their latest travel adventures to Paris! Even THOSE, were emotional and tinged with that high that leapt through their widening excited eyes! Reliving the moments! The ‘Paris’ moments! Details upon details are getting piled up in her…now foggy brain!

Everyone had a story to tell! Everyone wanted a piece of her. They could sense her inner Empath! They all seemed to be jousting for her attention! And she knew she was good at willingly giving it!

And there it all used to unfold! People’s stories brought in, stuffed in medium and large suitcases! (Seldom had she spotted smaller ones)! Those suitcases’ guts, were sometimes spilling through! Some people seemed to have packed theirs in a hurry! She guessed!

They would come in, order their pastry and coffee, and ask to talk to her if she had a second! She said yes a lot! It became customary.

The truth is, deeply inside, she felt honoured they all trusted her! It was tiring, but incredibly rewarding at the same time!

-Kat is behind the bar today?! Did you say Kat’s behind the bar! Hey thank you for calling..um gotta go..

That’s how she pictured it happening sometimes! They all knew each other! It’s a conspiracy. They all sat there at the cafe pretending to not know each other! But they did!!! They…DID! How else could she explain spotting them hurrying out of their cars, traversing through the parking lot?! And showing up one after another????! Indeed! Humour was so needed on those days! Accompanied by favourites like “Novo Amor/Anchor” playing in her ears, nursing her soul back into health, and washing away her bruises! And…what else other then… a 5 minute car drive, to the next parking lot!

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And I hear your ship is comin’ in
Your tears a sea for me to swim
And I hear a storm is comin’ in
My dear, is it all we’ve ever been”

Novo Amor/Anchor- – -(fictional happening of actually listening to it on those days. But I certainly listened to similar)

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Personal sketch’

My Evening Thoughts

Going through pics from a trip to Toronto not too long ago! I am brought back to those days, when I was nearly skipping while walking the streets sometimes… That’s how happy I was there! Discovering places like, a really really old paper store full of stacks of gorgeous paper from all over the world! My eyes would feast and try hard to keep up with everything in front of them, above them, and to the side of them!

Or, an old untouched by time barbershop, sitting there for over 80 years! On Spadina Rd. When a haircut used to cost $2! And where an old cash register weighing probably more than a car, is still sitting there and still being used!!!!

How many times did I suddenly stop walking! My eyes wide open, wanting nothing more than…just to observe…all the details of everything old and beautiful and nostalgic and with AMAZING retro signage and it’s ALL still there!

What city, town, place made your heart skip with happiness while walking the streets? Please share

Stories From My Café Days

The year was 2013. It started as the following:

My staff and I used to be busy making drinks behind the espresso bar at my little coffee shop, handing them out to smiling customers happy to get their hands on that warm cup of coffee.

we had our regulars, just as one would expect of a local café! However at times, I’d notice a ‘different’ type of face looking at me or not looking me, across the bar! I’d pick up on something, a clue of some sort if you will, a clue to their insides, a clue to something …off. And at that very moment, I’d make the drink, hand it out, smile and say ‘it’s on me’. And that’s how it all began. Me falling in love with something beyond continuously wiped down espresso bar counters, real estate square footage full of the aroma of coffee surrounding it, and the nostalgic noise of a milk steaming wand and the knocking of a portafilter.

I fell in love with something bigger. Something that changed those lonely moments for those customers, to something better and simply warmer. They were coming to my coffeeshop thinking they were seeking the warmth of a cup of coffee, but in reality, a lot of times…they were seeking a little bit of warmth for their ‘souls’, before the warmth reached their hands or just about! And that’s the part I was glad to be able to change, even if it was just at those very brief instances.

The story didn’t stop there, and rather continued to grow! Customers started coming back later, to say thank you for the coffee gesture! And they started sharing how that simple gesture made them feel at that moment! How sometimes that simple act of kindness, managed to go a bit or sometimes a lot further, it managed to make their day, better than they had expected it to turn out to be.

Very soon, the story took an expected turn, when customers started asking if they could offer that same gesture to random others! They asked if they could purchase a cup of coffee for a random stranger visiting whenever! Of course I said yes. And ‘that’s’ when the actual magic happened.

Even to this day, I still hang on to letters people had written down in those glorious days, to a lucky receiver! They wrote them while smiling, after purchasing a pay it forward coffee, for another person who would come after them, and not necessarily immediately after them. They ‘knew’ what it was going to feel like, they had experienced it. And it grew like a wildfire from there….

I remember having very generous donors too. We sometimes handed out free coffee for an entire day!!! It sounds crazy! But it did happen! And in a world full of scepticism?! It was a wonderful contrary reality! and an amazing story of community, simple care for each other and ..warmth.

Those were the best days of my life. Not just taking pride at offering a great latte or an amazing cup of cappuccino, but to change people’s lives even if it’s only in very brief and perhaps fleeting moments! To create warmth and watch it grow.

For someone who’s a non-dreamer -I’m the non-dreamer- catching yourself SUDDENLY dreaming, is surprising, yet very exciting at the same time!

Fastforward to this week, 2018:

I’m a realist, I practice living in the moment; so it’s pretty difficult for someone like myself to dream! Yet I did just that! I had a dream of recreating that coffee shop I closed down 3 years ago! Who knows..!

Come Away With Me

What does Norah Jone’s ‘Come Away With Me’ mean to you?! What do you immediately think when you hear it?!

Note: Doesn’t have to be necessarily romantic! But if it is…it’s ok too.

I will be the first one to say what it means to me. It’s summarized in this comment I shared on https://alifelesslivedblog.wordpress.com

‘Trust your heart if the seas catch fire’
e.e. Cummings 

I always wonder, while watching others, (lots of them actually), go through life, afraid. Afraid to try. Afraid to trust!
A little smoke emerges!? They immediately gasp and run away freightened! /oh yes! I’m one of those people/

Imagine, just imagine…if there ARE actually people out there, who would trust if ‘the seas catch fire’! Those are the people I will always be looking for! To learn from and get inspired by. Do they exist?! That’s the question

Photo credit: Unsplash

Logic Is Back

Considering my decision to not follow any rules in my writings here! And considering I joyously and proudly declare, the full proprietary of this humble site! Where yours truly…will sometimes reign, sometimes bow, laugh, weep (gosh I hope not), show anger (voice: tone it down now child, no need to terrify -voice lowered down to near whisper –ahem..quite remotely really- voice normal again- possible visitors…just..jussst toooone it dowwwwn)!

I recomposed myself and I shall now continue…

I’m now sitting in my comfortable semi Sukhasana pose (don’t ask me how to pronounce it for you…/my right hand gesturing/ just..just say whatever! I’m not a fan of that word and neither should you..unless of course you want to be! In which case by all means go ahead).. where were we?!

Ah! I was describing my joy at my rediscovered logic about continuously swinging the door open, here! In my little apartment blog! -haven’t you heard?! I moved this am! From my previous little studio blog, to rrright ..here!- Yes yes this apartment isn’t that big either, but I don’t need a bedroom really so the open space is fine! But myyyyy Goodness..!!!! look at that view! :))))))

Where were we?! Back on subject:

So now, that I no longer believe in the validity of feeling embarrassed that I am writing too much in here! Now, that I am no longer apprehensive about ‘the rules’! I am…free :))))))

I can reflect wisely at times. I can open the little window to my feelings and emotions and let the sun shine on them! I can attempt to be humorous and make a fool of myself in the process at other times…and?! It’s ..all fine 🙂 At least fine with me! Please, If I overwhelm you at any point, please reserve your advice to doing this and doing that, as I won’t be listening :)! Kidding go ahead, tell me..

I am completely free from all the rules of how to write, for who and about what..etc etc etc

Welcome to my playground 🙂 ..hug?! um..maybe a light one! I’ve spent my life as a non-hugger. I went through all ‘the looks’ shot at me when an avid hugger would step forward and -head down- yes I have stepped backwards..at times! Extended my hand instead to cover up the obvious awkwardness of my action! Odd?! Just go ahead and say it! I accept your verdict! But before you hang me for my public display of utter nonconformity and disaffection, try to get to know me a little first! 🙂 I’m not that scary! Just a little …different! I am making an effort to become a born again hugger! Who feels comfortable at giving, and receiving a..hug!

Again, welcome to my playground! I have good coffee here! And may be a hug or two as I get more comfortable..So ..yah 🙂

Pic credit: Usplash

Get Up! I Am You

Get up.

Stop doubting!

This is for me…and you!

Don’t let your fears win.

Get up.

Go for your run!

Write those words!

Turn the shower on!

Brush your tangled hair.

Look in the mirror!

Take a swing at the fog…

You can do this!

Your body needs to move,

Your heart needs to get strengthened.

It’s easy to give in,

It’s easy not to see what’s there,

right in front of you!

I know your pain!

I’ve been there!

I too get used to all in-front of me,

I too stop seeing!

Get up.

Don’t say you don’t need my hug!

Why so proud?!

I know why!

As I am too.

I am ….you

But I won’t give up,

And neither will….

you.

Photo credit: Unsplash