I think I found my new coffeeshop. It is called the {name omitted} and on the wall in front of me is a framed photo of six azure jets flying through the air. There is muzak playing and there is lots of wood. The decaf is perfectly shitty and the silverware is less than spotless. This place is just like Artemis. I’m not going to tell anyone about this place. It’s my secret place.

A skinny Greek man in a tie has mastered the “Greek restaurant manager swagger”. Mind you this is a phenom of Greek managers of American style-diners. Managers of restaurants with authentic Greek faire don’t do this. The walk is a kind of hunched over drag one foot Quasimodo thing- but out of coolness rather than physical ail. The sound that seals this coffeeshop as my new home comes… the bell at consecration: “Do you want more coffee, honey?” The older woman calls to me from her station about 10 feet away.
Yesterday I was walking down Belmont past my old coffeeshop, Kokomo, which closed after about 4 years of my patronage. For some reason, the memory of my first Kokomo visit crossed my mind.

This new place kicks the shit out of Kokomo, which played out like a stage with it’s tall chairs and tall tables crammed into it’s matchbox dining room.
I’m trying to discern the positive/negative aspects of stumbling on the veritable Artemis part II. Am I clamouring for the past? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just guilty of wanting a regular hang out that doesn’t change. Consistency is terribly hard to come by in this wicked world. Terribly hard. Best of all, my friends? This place is 24/7. Yep. Always open. I’m so instantly at home here. Positive or negative has no place.

I had a dream about my mom last night. It was some kind of reunion. I hadn’t seen her in a long time. I gave her a big hug. Right before I saw her I was able to return to her closet her letter sweater from Sacred Heart Academy that she had lost. My brother, she said, was unreachable at the moment. He was in California visiting a father of one of his friends.

It’s 4:25pm, and the seniors are rolling in for their early dinners. I’d better scram soon. Oh- there are 3 open tables. I can hang a little longer.
The waitress’s name tag says “Lorraine 19”. I asked if 19 is her last name. She explained that’s how she’s called by the kitchen, while pantomiming a cook aggressively pressing a button presumably bearing the number 19. “Come pick up your food! come pick up your food!” she pretended to nag. She then backed down a bit and pointed out the other numbered waitresses across the restaurant. “That’s 18… she’s 27 over there…” She seemed a little subjugated by her newer line of discourse, so I sealed up the topic for her. “We’ll just stick with Lorraine.” She smiled and pointed at me. “That’s the one!” she said.

My decaf is half-way empty when Lorraine asks if I want a warm-up. “I’m okay,” I declined. She said “it’s okay” and went to get me more anyway.
I’m giddy in my discovery of this new place. As I get ready to leave I contemplate my return. It’s like some kind of new girlfriend. Should I return tonight, late-night? My god no. That’s way too soon. I’ll play it cool. I’ll wait a few days.

Can’t Stop The Now...

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