Meerrrrrgghhh here is the first sentence of my blog post!!!!! Man it’s hard to get going sometimes. Especially when you’ve chosen to write in a coffee shop, instead of at home where it’s ACTUALLY QUIET and the only person who is going to park their ass in the chair right next to you even though there are PLENTY OF OTHER EMPTY CHAIRS is your chonky-ass cat. Sure, I often hear my neighbors taking a dump right above me while I’m writing at home, because of a miraculous feat in design where the toilet in the upstairs apartment was placed right above the only reasonable spot for a dining/writing table in my place, with absolutely zero sound-proofing… BUT, at least if I myself need to take a dump after my 4th cup of coffee, I can do so without worrying about someone swiping my laptop.
So here I am, trying to write as the lady with the horrendous laugh behind the counter shouts “WE’RE OUT OF ORANGE MARMALADE CROISSANTS!!” at someone in the back; and endless hordes of bearded locals swarm in for over-priced coffee, subconsciously adjusting their gaits to match the Rockabilly_Christmas_Crap album playing on the sound system.
How do people do this?? How is every coffee shop filled with people on computers, studying for LSATs and cranking out 4,000 word papers while some dude at the table right next to them yell-talks at his poor slunched tinder date about how great he is at reading people?
I have always had a really hard time concentrating on anything if there isn’t COMPLETE peace and quiet. Growing up, my mom took painstaking measures to make sure I wasn’t awoken from my slumber one second sooner than necessary: tip-toeing around, walking down the old wooden stairs in the EXACT algorithm of spots that don’t creak; taking 5 extra seconds to ever-so-gently close a kitchen cabinet so it didn’t even THINK about making a clonk that would reverberate through the entire house. I’d go in to use the bathroom in the morning and find a toilet already full of pee, because mom hadn’t wanted the sound of the flush to alarm me. She expected the same from me, of course, yelling “What are you, an ELEPHANT?!??” If I disrupted the vacuum of silence in the house, slamming the front door instead of delicately folding it into the house.
As an adult, I find myself tiptoeing around my apartment, rearranging the bones in my feet with every step to compliment the exact material, texture and acoustic properties of the intended contact point with the floor. I do this when people are sleeping. I do this when nobody is home. I do this while my upstairs neighbors are crashing around, joyfully moving all the furniture from their bedroom into the living room and all the furniture from their living room into the bathroom, dropping everything at least once in transit. “FUCK YOUUUU!!” I scream, as I shuffle along the floor in my slippies.
I’m grateful I got good sleeps as a child, but holy crap do I ever sleep badly now. A bird could shit outside and it would wake me up. On any given night, I might have a fan on, a sound machine blasting a combination of white, pink, AND brown noise (which often results in some creepy-ass auditory hallucinations); and extra-large earplugs crammed into my ears. I recently purchased some “sleep headphones,” which are basically just shitty flat earbuds crammed into a sport headband, so that you can listen to white lady spa music while lying down without worrying you’re going to rip a hole in your ear drum in the middle of the night.
Oh great, now the coffee shop is playing fucking ACDC. Why?? ACDC? Really?? Who is this place for?!? It’s too chaotic to concentrate, too… kid-filled to party and do hard drugs. Yup there are 2 screaming babies in here now. They’re probably confused by the ambiance too.
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, maybe all of these pious coffee shop novelists don’t even know that this environment is a totally fucked place to write. Maybe their families flushed toilets and communicated with each other from opposite floors of the house and—god forbid—closed kitchen cabinets by FULL-ON LAUNCHING THEM FROM OPEN TO SHUT USING NOTHING BUT A HARD FLICK OF THE WRIST.
I guess I did write something though. Maybe I really can be a coffee-shop-writer!*
*This post took me all day to write and I will never write in a coffee shop again**
**Making a ton of noise around the house as your children grow up is probably a really good idea