Sacred Grounds

There is just something about my coffeehouse.

I've been stuck on INFERNII for quite some time. Hell, I'm weeks behind in everything. I was supposed to finish the second draft of INFERNII by the end of April, and guess how THAT'S not happening?

Somehow I just can't work well in my apartment. It's like pulling teeth. My concentration is lousy. I get nothing accomplished. But as I am kidless this week, I chose to go to my coffeehouse tonight after work.

In the three-and-a-half hours since I got here, I have gone through half of SETTING SUNS seeking the typos to correct, reread ALL of the 26,000 words already written for INFERNII, gone over my outline and written the first 2,000 words of the bedamned traps chapter. It's better than I remembered.

As I write this, it's just after 10 p.m. The door is open, letting in the cool spring breeze. There are young people sitting outside at the black metal tables. There are more young people and a few older people sitting inside, chatting and drinking caffeinated beverages at silly hours of the night. The poor folk who work here are cleaning up and collecting cups, hoping we'll take the hint. There's a young man wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I wish I knew how to quit you." Heh.

It's a lovely coffeehouse. Long and narrow, with real brick walls dating back to the days when this little cow town had horses tied outside. There are shelves full of the many brands of tea, and I wonder why I always drink the organic fair trade coffees instead of sampling those wonderful teas. Perhaps then I'd make fewer treks to the bathroom in the back.

This week's artwork is a collection of watercolor landscapes. They have something different almost every time I come here. There is a collage of an old Schwinn bicycle framed on the opposite wall. I have no idea of its significance. Perhaps the owner likes bikes. The glass windows are covered in flyers advertising concerts, poetry readings, museum exhibits and Earth Day activities at the watershed nature center.

There are two young men sitting at the next table playing guitars, while completely different music plays overhead and I am listening to a third song on my earbuds. The three combine into a strangely pleasant mix that works almost like white noise, blocking out my upper brain and letting the Muse do her work.

One of the young men keeps glancing over at me. For a moment, I am flattered. Then he compliments my laptop, and I laugh, my ego dashed again. A really nice Apple iBook is to women what cute little dogs are to men: the conversation-starter. I shall have to remember this.

Why is it I can only work four hours at a clip at my coffeehouse? Why can't I do this at home? I could blame the phone and the TV and the chores and all that, but really, it's the bedamned internet. The coffeehouse is the only place I ever go that has no internet access. When my attention falters, I cannot escape.

I miss my boy. But it's also nice to feel like I'm working again. It's time to go home - the coffeehouse will close soon, cutting off its magic. But I will be back tomorrow.

Thank you, Sacred Grounds.