I want to tell you a story of a pissed off human in a coffee shop so intent on making a difference in the world that somehow, he forgot to listen to the beautiful sounds of the very world he is trying to help.
Coffee shops now-days are not really about coffee. They are fancy convenient stores, pretentious gathering spots where authors/executives/students go to feel important, or to prove they actually do something with their time, or hope they are witnessed writing the next great American novel. Well, that’s why I am there anyway.
Writers, like myself, abuse the hell out of coffee joints, hoping for some sort of creative contact buzz mixed with a rather ridiculous amount of caffeine. Hopefully, writers give off as much energy as they consume. Hopefully, we are at least better by proximity.
A horn blares as an ambulance speeds down the street and even though my headphones are on and turned up, I still hear it ringing. Unsuccessfully, I try to turn maximum volume higher, a desperate effort to become even more absent while somehow staying present. Despising alone, while avoiding company is the definition of life today, it’s called Facebook, it’s called Twitter.
Grinders churn, magically overriding the screams in my head. I really hope those sounds come from my ear phones, sometimes I turn them off becasue I am not sure anymore. Pungent odors mix together creating a waft of aromatic abusiveness, reminding me again this isn’t really a coffee shop. The bouquet of cinnamon, blue berries, cookies and bread baking mixed with that odd hygienic smell that is suppose to resemble clean, but comes off more like nursing home proves this is not about coffee at all. It’s about the experience, la-de-da.
I press my head phones deeper into my skull and sort of coil against a corner like a spider praying for relief in a room where someone just turned on the light. By now, I am trying to become part of the environment. Trying, in a futile attempt, to ignore the witty banter that’s not so witty, along with the executive meeting behind me that seems to get louder and louder. Apparently they brought all Commanders, no soldiers.
Finally, when the world won’t seem to shut up, when my head phones are now part of me and not just scenery, when my computer’s volume has reached it’s pinnacle, I heard something I will never forget. I heard innocence. I heard the strongest, and yet most vulnerable sound there is. I heard freedom, and need simultaneously. I heard a baby laugh, and suddenly, I laughed.
This story is about one of those rare times where the world was trying to get me to stop being a pissed off human, instead of doing it’s best to test me, often making me one. This is one of those rare times it didn’t leave the fight all up to me. It was one of those rare times where I was open enough to hear what I needed to hear most, what we all need to hear. The sound of a young life void of experience and regret, a life full of potential.
I wonder if his mom is playing peekaboo and loving that child as much as I am right now. I wonder if his father is tossing him in the air allowing him to learn trust in it’s most pure form. The trust that proves a good father will never let you fall, a good dad will never drop you.
No matter what happens for the rest of this very day, I have this obnoxious coffee shop that transformed and faded into obscurity because of one baby laughing. A soul creating it’s own heaven no matter the distractions living around it. A perfect laughing example of just how to live, well before the world tells it something different.
*In between every set perform strict pullups. Do no more than 70% of your current max rep set per attempt.
100-banded partner leg curls
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