The things they say about Portlanders are true-ish. Yes, we wear flannels and comfy boots to work AND dinner; our scarves are fashion statements akin to the LBD. Yes, we’re very serious about our coffee, but we’ll drink the gourmet stuff from growlers. Yes, we’re outdoorsy and prefer a hike in the woods over noisy malls. Yes, we’ve all got a list of our favorite neighborhood bistros that we’ll insist on taking you to when you visit.
It’s true: we ALL have blogs that we write sitting in café windows (not really).
In true Portland fashion, today I became that girl in the coffee shop window with a fistful of first-world problems, a handcrafted latte (the barista created a classic foam leaf for me-love that!), a notebook filled with passing thoughts, and a copy of developmental psychology lying lonely next to my laptop. I have succeeded in fulfilling a stereotype, and I liked it.
Sitting there felt like siting in a storm of people and I was at the eye. People rushing through their lives, hurrying past to accomplish something, anything…they all seemed to have a familiar feature: each one seemed to have a distant trace of desolation in their eyes. I wanted to whisper, I notice you.
I see you with your friends, your un-voiced words, your overcompensating ego, Teenager, as you laugh an unsure laugh. You look vulnerable. I promise, you will not always feel this chaos.
I see you with your retro red lips, long dark curls, and your Pendleton wool peacoat, Twenty-Something, as you sip your cappuccino and contemplate your wanderlust. You look lonely. I promise, you will find your place.
I see you with your hands full of babies and toddlers and bags, Momma, as you walk past my window. You look resigned. I promise, one day soon you will be sitting in a coffee shop window noticing the young mother with the babies and toddlers and bags as you sip your latte in quiet.
I see you on your blue tooth, and your angry eyes, eating your breakfast of black coffee, Mr. Mercedes, as you speed by. You look distant. I promise, what you do is not who you are.
I see you alone in your booth watching me, your hands trembling slightly, Old Man, as you wonder about me and my piercings and tattoos. I see the life you’ve lived in the creases on your face. Promise me I will live a life worth remembering.
Today, I became that girl in the coffee shop window. Did you see me?
I saw you.