The cacophony of patrons inside this tightly knit cafe in Fernandina Beach, FL, all alive and energized from the warm sunshine, mostly post church service attendees, is surrounding me and my computer while I work frivolously on outlining the next several months of promotions for this music I’ve created. I’m not hungry yet, I made a big breakfast in the van this morning, but I feel guilty taking up even this extremely small table and not ordering something, so I may get the soup special, curry chicken. I’m having my first coffee in the last two weeks, a whopping feat for me as an avid consumer of the beans of caffeine. It’s not as good as I was hoping, but that’s fine.
There’s an elderly woman to my left, sitting alone, no technology, ever present and observant of the cackling around the room, the hurried waitstaff, scanning faces and the decorations of the building. She isn’t smiling, but she’s very solemn. I dropped my charger while taking a picture of my computer screen for this blog, which prompted her to glance over at me, consumed with my technology, and now I feel like a millennial. I get the feeling that she may have lost her partner over the last several years, and that thought is currently too heavy for me to gain a perspective on. She eats a club sandwich with a tall glass of water, and pays her bill, emotionless. We were the only two people in the whole place who came alone, and never looked directly at each other.
It was so hot this morning that after a little yoga session (I’m doing a 30 day challenge with my wife and some family members) that I had to jump into the ocean. Stark contrast to just two days ago when I was trying to sleep in Isle of Palms, SC in a bone driving cold temperature of 28. The water hit me like a wall, and momentarily paralyzed me as the undertow of the sloping saltwater down the sandbank of pebbles and shells did it’s usual milling about. I kind of panicked for a split second in my head thinking, “I’m struggling to get out of this water.” Regardless, I felt extremely present. Probably as much as that woman next to me, who I perceived to be inwardly looking out on at a small sea of happy and loud people.
I’ve got to tip this waiter more than a cup of coffees worth. I guess I’ll order the chicken curry soup.