Private Thoughts in Public Spaces

by The Cowl Editor on November 19, 2018


by Julia Zygiel ’19

Any time she writes in her diary she does it in a café. If it is 2 a.m. and she has the urge, she’ll trot to the Starbucks situated in the 24/7 convenience store a block from her apartment. She likes the idea of private thoughts in public spaces. When it isn’t 2 a.m., she goes to Tatiana’s Café in the center of town and claims her regular booth. From her corner seat by the door to the kitchen, she can see all of the customers, all of the waiters and waitresses, and (if she squints) even the totals on the register. To her, miniscule moments spent on trivial things such as caffeine are when mankind is most beautiful. You can fall in love with almost anyone in a coffee shop. Two women sit two tables away, clutching hands in kind love. A man in line laughs so hard at his own joke that he cannot finish it. A waitress smiles nervously as she drops her client’s check on the floor. In these moments, she is enamored by them. Her own bubble of existence overlaps with theirs for mere seconds, a minute at most. She wonders what their worries are, what color makes them gasp at the beauty of it. They get their caffeine and go, and she envisions herself fitting into the stride of their lives. But it always feels loose, or tight, so she shrugs it off and lets go of the film of two distinct lives intersecting.

Cup of coffee on a plate
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