I’m at a coffee shop right now, working away at that stupid third novel, chasing that elusive last word but feeling like it’s a carrot on a stick that never gets any closer no matter what I do. I’m listening to my Spotify library on random and just a few minutes ago a Jens Kuross song came on, from the album Art! At the Expense of Mental Health. I’d never noticed that album title before, but I feel it today.
Amen, Jens Kuross. Hope you’re doin okay.
I had a really hard time this morning deciding which shop to come to. I have become very picky. I wanted a fruity cup of coffee (the kind you get at Everyday Kitchen, Happy Hi, or Cafe Royale), but also someplace where I could have something healthy-ish or at least delicious for breakfast (Naked Bean, French Press, Tangerine), but also someplace quiet, with the right atmosphere (Brewedney, Drip, Core). Perhaps someplace I have a gift card for (Everyday Kitchen, Starbucks, French Press) and someplace I don’t have to pay for parking and someplace I won’t run into anyone I know unless the person I’m running into is someone I know kind of peripherally who won’t pull up a chair and someplace where there are enough people to feel like I’m in public but not so many people that I feel like I’m at a music festival. Someplace where the staff is friendly and the music is good but not too loud because I’m probably going to put my headphones in anyway to drown out the people at the table next to me. Maybe someplace where I can look up now and then to see happy folks visiting in the booth across the room, hugging when they get there and before they leave and looking so overjoyed to see each other; I don’t know, it gives me a little vicarious oxytocin hit which I find to be somewhat helpful for creativity. A place with a good view out the window (so nowhere in the east end or Harbour Landing; nothing is less inspiring than the back of a box store). I like a place where other people are on laptops, possibly writing novels too, because I feel like their creative energy might rub off on me, or like their hopes and dreams are contagious.
You can’t write a thing if you’re low on hopes and dreams.
I sat in my car for such a long time, and finally I just had to narrow it down by trying to think of which coffee beans I wanted, and Thom Bargen won. They serve that at Everyday Kitchen so that’s where I ended up. See also: free parking, a good muffin for breakfast, a gift card, a couple of vaguely familiar people, a bit of jovial hugging across the room, some creatives on laptops, quiet music, and a nice view of the warehouse district.
So now: let’s see if it translates to PRODUCTIVITY.
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