Every Tuesday—-my writing day—-I go to the same local coffee shop. The tables are numerous, the food delicious, and the coffee adequate. I often run into friends there.
Today I sat down at a corner table with four seats. The shop was half empty when I arrived, and I felt okay taking a large table even though I was by myself. After a steady stream of customers trickled in, the shop started to feel crowded. I kept looking around, feeling uncomfortable, wondering if it was time for me to move to a smaller table (in a less desirable location). It was getting awkward, but my love of the corner spot kept me in my seat.
After I’d been there an hour, an older African American man approached me and politely said, Could we have a couple of your chairs, Ma’am? I decided this was my cue. Would you like to trade tables with me? I really don’t need this space, I said.
He looked at me as though I had offered him a hundred dollar bill. Continue reading “Why I don’t write at home”