Cafe Witness

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Bizarre Truth About Beverages

As a regular cafe-goer, I tend to develop habits. Sometimes I drink a lot of coffee for a few weeks, sometimes a lot of tea, sometimes decaf. When I have a lot of money to throw around, I like the specialty stuff. When I'm feeling saucy, I like a hot chocolate.

Apparently, these days I drink nothing.

I still buy something in every cafe I visit -- you kind of have to -- but I've noticed I can sit here for hours and work without drinking more than a few sips of whatever's in front of me. I have no worries about the temperature of my drink because it will be cold soon enough. I have no need to buy a "large" anything because there's no concern regarding volume; there will always be more than enough.

I'm quite certain this is a direct correlation to my emerging cafe-as-office theme, wherein I only stop to drink when I need to think about something. Otherwise, I'm typing something, and I don't even think to look at my cup.

By contrast, as soon as anyone sits down to chat, the drink disappears in record time. Consistent sipping is a time-honored way to pass the time during a conversation, punctuating stretches of words with a strategic splash. This is especially true when I'm a listener. In fact, if you watch me closely, I'll pick up and put down the same drink several times during one continuous wordless stretch, as though each cycle is a new action worthy of its own conclusion.

Perhaps when Ann returns from London and we begin frequenting cafes as a couple again I'll have a few moments to sit and chat -- and drink fluids -- again... as long as she's doing the talking.


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