it’s been too long since i’ve had a conversation in a starbucks. i hid away at home for a while, doing homey things and writing at our dining room table, regaining some energy after several sleepless nights, colds, and well, a myriad of other reasons. conversations there were between me and my seven-year-old parakeet, who reigns in being adorable but not in conversing. so finally, feeling better and loving it, i thought it was time to get back to the whirling espresso machines, shared wooden tables, and coffee house ambiance i had missed for so long.

and as if to welcome me back, i found myself in the longest conversation with a stranger about my laptop yet to be blogged about.

“you’re welcome,” he said as i sat back dow at my seat. i had left my laptop for a few minutes and realized then i had acquired a computer-guard.

i smiled. “thanks. i knew i could trust you.” admittedly, i took for granite this person’s honesty. for all i knew, he could have swiped not only my laptop, but my purse, phone, and grande awake tea as well. i was going to end the conversation there and stick my headphones back in. but the question came.

“do you go to PCC?”

laptop. student. studying. at 29 i’ve decided looking like a student isn’t such a bad thing anymore. staring down 30, i’m beginning to (finally) enjoy the “you still could be a freshmen in college” comments. (at 22 they weren’t so well received.)

so i recited my usual answer. “no. i’m just doing some writing.”

apparently i’m naive about people’s curiosity. because i tend to assume the next question won’t come.

“what are you writing?”

i need to stop assuming.

“a story,” i said, sheepishly. “about a kid.”

he laughed. “i think i’ve read one of those before.”

“yeah. there’s a couple out there.”

after establishing that my husband, who manages the starbucks we were sitting in, couldn’t get him a discount, i assumed again the conversation would end. and yet, “what’s your favorite book?”

i answered. then he answered. and the conversation continued. about movies, stories, hobbies; we talked for so long my husband got in on the conversation during a break of his. they talked music and school. we talked imagination and jobs. then the hour was up, his bus arrived and he left. i finally stuck my headphones back in and continued writing. as my mind transitioned back into my story, i immediately thought about this blog. but, unlike the purpose behind the inevitable conversations of a girl with a laptop, where conversations are typically packed with unsolicited advice, filled with personal commentaries, and almost always one-sided, this conversation was like a good volley in a tennis match. lots of back and forth. two people sharing. two. not one. it was refreshing.

what a nice way to be welcomed back to my coffee house office.


About Robin Puelma

Freelance writer with a passion for crafting stories for middle-graders and beyond.

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