Ever see a cat when it gets read to sleep? The way they turn little circles on the selected spot, knead the ground/pet bed, lay down only to get back up again? I’m like that when I try to write. Everything has to be perfect. I can’t write at home because it is never clean enough and it’s so dark inside. Solution? Coffee shop, of course. Perfect – unless the table is wobbly, there are too many people, the roasting room is running, the sun is shining in my eyes or on screen, or I forgot my headphones. Dear lord, the headphones – NEVER forget the headphones.
I used to pride myself about being low maintenance. I realize this morning that I have been living a lie. I had my husband take me to new coffee shop this morning just because the other it getting too crowded and I can never get my favorite table. This means I spend a great deal of time looking over, longingly, at the stolen utopia until it opens up and sprint to claim it. And the tables are to tall. And my students stop by. And I am afraid I’ll be asked how the dissertation is going. And. And. And. So here I am, in a new spot. It’s okay – a little warm. But I can set up and –
Dear god no.
How can I concentrate without my ambient music? How can I possibly block out the business meeting at the next table? Or the the fucking up talker ordering the world’s most complicated coffee? Should I just pack up and watch Book 3 of Avatar: The Last Air Bender instead?
The truth is, this cat-like fussiness is an excuse. Yes, I work optimally in a clean, bright, caffeinated environment with my custom writing playlists. But “working optimally” is usually 50% work, 50% trying to find the right spot.
Just fucking write, Macy.
Post Script: If anyone is near Garden District Coffee and has a spare set of headphones, I’ll include you in the Acknowledgements on the diss.