Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Is It

This afternoon I sat by Starbucks' front entrance, rather than on the side patio. It afforded me a view of the door, and the people who went in and out of it.

There was the couple in a pill box, a top-up convertible Audi. They went in together and came out a few steps apart, the man holding blended brown drinks. The woman drove. Quickly.

There was the woman who hopped down from her SUV, hopped from the curb to the street and then back up to the store’s curb. In her return path, there was less hopping, because there was a cup with whipped cream as tall as the drink.

And there was the skater boy—who’s a Starbucks employee—and his girlfriend, who carried out two pink frozen drinks, and didn’t look embarrassed in the least.

And now excerpts from Gerald Stern's "This Is It":
I crawl across the street to have my coffee at the low counter,
to listen to the noise of the saws drifting through the open window
and to study the strange spirit of this tar paper café
I listen to the plans of the three teen-age businessmen
about to make their fortune in this rotting shack
I watch the bright happy girls organize their futures
over and around the silent muscular boys
and I wait, like a peaceful man, hours on end,
for the truck out back to start, for the collie to die,
for the flies to come, for the summer to bring its reckoning.


Manasse said...

Do you go to Starbucks and write every day? You are SO my hero. Seriously...I want to do that!

Michelle Panik said...

Almost every morning. Except when I'm working this job in Mira Mesa. Maybe you know a little bit about it.

Manasse said...

Great...not only do I not write enough...I am the reason YOU don't write as often as you could.