11/19/2010

Friday Night at the Colophon Cafe

One of my favorite places to write is the Colophon Cafe in Fairhaven. It's the quietest I've ever seen it, though, but then again, it's Friday night and the weather has turned cold. I'm at a table by myself and a barista tidies the counters to keep herself occupied. Folkish-Country sort of music is on the speakers, a love song about a guy who's missing a girl. The decor is retro 50's, chrome stools line a short bar on my left, green upholstery adorns the bench seat across from me. The table itself is yellow formica and there's an aluminum napkin holder to match. A pair of salt-and-pepper shakers sit in a handled wire basket along with packets of sugar and sugar substitutes.

I'm taking up the whole table with my bag from last Summer's RWW residency, my husband's iPad attached to my keyboard, his iPad bag, my purse, a few notes on the Hawaii story, a pencil and a cup of hot lemonade.

We've been expecting snow and/or cold weather for a few days, now. A few of the towns north of us have gotten dustings, just enough to show that the winter will likely be long this year. Our summer was short, starting somewhere around mid-July and Fall arrived pretty much on time, but Winter... my friend who lives up in the mountains said he saw deer coming down off the foothills earlier this year than in years past. I haven't taken the time to see if the seagulls are really white this year, but considering the chill, I'd say Winter is well on it's way.

So there was no putting off getting the car looked at and winterized. We dropped it off this morning after dropping the kidlets at school, then took the bus to work. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy taking the bus, the personalities, the ability to just rest and take in the scenery. Students on their way to the university joined us as well as a few elders on their way to do their errands. Kel and I talked about storytelling and things tangential to stories, and I wished I could describe these nothing-time talks we have. They really do carry weight - I think we even talked about his Hermetic research and I mentioned something about Indigenous Thought. Before we had the kidlets we'd talk like that all the time, just long and deep about things we were researching and thinking about. It's different on a bus, somehow, more relaxed, more like we used to talk on long road trips together.

We walked the couple of blocks from the bus stop to our office and started our days. He was in and out of meetings all day and I was busy with deadlines. My neck is better today, but I was glad to get another appointment in today. With the car in the shop, I walked down to my doc's office. I walked differently than usual, though. My doc recommended that I walk more upright, trust that the ground was there at my feet and just keep my chin parallel to the ground. I was dubious, but I gave it a try and though my pace slowed, I comfortably walked down the long hill to Fairhaven and to my doctor's office.

On the way I did a bit of banking and listened to a street busker work out an Irish jig on his violin. He was a friendly sort and though I'm sure my tip wouldn't get him far, maybe a hot coffee and a small cookie, it was nice to just be able to do that instead of moving on quickly toward my destination. Down the hill I walked and ran into a local author I had met through mutual friends. I'm reading one of his books now about the Hero of African culture. I told him of my similar interest in Filipino heroes and myths and he sparked up. He gave me some ideas on how to approach the material I've found so far through my Babaylan studies and asked me to email him more about it. It was one of those lucky encounters I think, a sign of something new coming to the front, or perhaps something unattended that will be important over the next few months.

I took the bus again to pick up my car and chatted up a dad with a guitar case and two young boys. He was dropping them off somewhere to be looked after while he played at a local bar for the evening. So many interesting things happen in this town - the Guild is telling stories now at Fairhaven Library. An acoustic band called Vibram Souls is playing a free concert at the Public Market and this dad is playing somewhere with friends. Pretty cool all in all.

Tonight it's supposed to snow and tomorrow, I'm supposed to come back to Fairhaven to put up holiday decorations as part of a service project for my workplace. Hopefully I'll keep busy enough to stay warm! Or even better, they might cancel the work party. **grin**

At any rate, I'm feeling quiet, like this cafe, which really isn't quiet with the hum of the refrigerator case and the freezer of ice cream, the music over the speakers, and the occasional sniffle from the barista who's sketching in a notebook now. Outside a yellow taxi saunters down the road and woman laughs at something I can't see or hear. We're waiting, I think, waiting for something familiar that's coming, something familiar but unseen for a few months. Then Winter will be with us for a few months, keeping us quieter than in the Summer, perhaps looking inward for our ancestors or their stories or perhaps their heroes. Maybe we'll sing songs together and tell jokes. At the very least, we'll do our best to share it all with the ones we love and that's the best part of the season after all.