An Afternoon in Costa Coffee

Who knows what the purpose of this piece of writing is? A simple way to kill some free time? A hopeful exercise in finding creative inspiration? An attempt, borne of desperation, to overcome the ultimate enemy, writers’ block? I literally have no idea. Many suggestions, but no real ideas. Lots of buzzing. Some lonesome characters – a guy in the corner with his big headphones blasting out metal music that creates a strange tinny current mixing strangely with the electronica being transmitted to us all through the café speakers. Blocking the sounds and transmissions of his brain, hiding himself from the rest of the world and choosing to isolate himself in this social environment, designed to be a place where people mingle and mix and be. He wants to be alone, but with people. A lone man, left alone having been engaged with a group of enthusiastic colleagues rapt in discussion about a new concept. Who knows what? They probably do. I wasn’t paying enough attention to what they were actually saying. I must cut a lonely figure now, having been so engaged in conversation with another not five minutes ago, and now sitting, alone, seemingly engrossed in this notebook, scribbling away and barely, to the eyes of any observer, engaging with the world around me at all. How little we really know about one another.

My thoughts turn to many things as I sit here, alone. In the main, I wonder who might walk into this café. Every moment here, an old hunting ground, is full of possibility. Some awkward, some hopeful. As I walked through London earlier en route to the Strand, I found myself looking over at the river, wondering whether the intense memories I have created there will ever be recreated or relived or even remembered in the full. Were the memories drifting in and out of my mind even real? I listened to Oasis as I walked, and I was reminded of someone special. Moments are so fleeting. As I wandered along the Embankment I thought of friends. Someone walks past the window. I stare. I don’t know why. My behaviour confuses me sometimes. Friends. I think of a couple of my closest, and wonder how they are doing. What they are feeling at this very moment.  Sounds drift into my head, a chord, a lyric, a riff, each one somehow linking the image of each person to the sound my memory has generated. Music. The heartbeat of my life. It has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. I habitually turn to it, in times of intense happiness, pain, love. And it has never abandoned me in a time of need. As I sit here, alone, drifting through random memories and thoughts, I miss music and immediately, as if by magic, it is with me. I realise that it never leaves me. I want to share the effect it has on me, somehow. Here, in Costa coffee with two and a half hours, armed with pen and paper, a Soya Chai Latte and the courage to step into the river of my own consciousness, I’m ready to share it. Or at least to try and share it. I’m ready.

So, here goes. Pieces inspired by music that I love. Written as I sit in a packed out City cafe. Beyond personal. The deepest recesses. I’m excited, and just a little bit scared about where this will take me, but whatever it is, it will be my truth. And I like finding my truth. It’s fun. Hopefully you’ll find it fun to read too. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading.

An Ordinary Idealist.


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