I started out at the Border's coffee shop today, thinking it would be a very nice place to sit back and write. After all, they allow a person to sit there and drink tea, unlike the library, which seems to frown on beverages of any sort. (Plus, I like to see the looks on peoples' faces when I empty 13 Equal packets into my teas. Why yes, yes I do enjoy that sludge at the bottom of my cup. It's like a liquidy little dessert after the tea is all gone.)

I've been going there more often than the library lately, simply because of the tea. Other people seem to use the little coffee shop the way I do; they sit there with their laptops, typing away, or they have textbooks and notebooks spread out before them, fueling up on caffeine while they study. Like the library, people leave each other alone.

Unlike the library, people can be loud. I can't complain about that, because it's not the library. Sometimes people are there to socialize, and they talk in normal tones and laugh a lot.

I don't mind.


Today as I tapped away on my spiffy PDA, a very tired looking young woman wandered in with her very bright-eyed little boy--he looked like he was 3 or 4 years old--and ordered a munchy for him and a large frou-frou drink for herself. They settled into the nice overstuffed chairs in the corner, and he chattered away happily in between bites.

And he got louder.

And then louder.

He was happy and laughing...but loud.

She reminded him to use an inside voice. And for a minute or so, he did. Then he started kicking the chair, and she told him that was not polite, and to stop. And he did, for a minute or so.

This little boy was wound up and had no way to unwind. When he asked her when Daddy was coming to get them and she sighed wearily, "Not for an hour," I saved my document, closed the PDA, gathered my stuff, and headed for the library, where I could work in some semblance of quiet, even if it was without Power Tea at my elbow.

I felt for the woman, I really did. Hopefully after he finished his snack she took him outside to walk around, but I wasn't waiting to find out. For all I knew she was dead tired and didn't have the energy to move out of that chair, and it would have been an hour of him squirming and laughing loudly, and her trying to get him to speak softly and sit still.

If it sounds like I was annoyed, I wasn't. That's the risk I take by writing in a very public place.

When I got to the library, Library Bob was there--at MY table no less--flipping through a newspaper, so I took a table down the row a bit, next to a group of 20-somethings who sat there staring at textbooks. I caught a glimpse of graph paper with complicated looking strokes, figured my head would explode if it was me trying to figure that all out, and then settled back into the groove of writing.

After all, I need to get this Dead Guy figured out.

Five minutes later one of the 20-somethings sighed "You didn't."

Someone else giggled.

Another person at the table groaned "Dammit, you have to stop doing that."

Given another 20 seconds, I gathered the giggler must have had Taco Bell for lunch, possibly for 5 or 6 days running, and that he had been venting the results of those lunches quite frequently. When my eyes stopped watering, I gathered my things up once again and decided my creativity for the day was gone.

I think I wrote a grand total of 2 pages today.

It wasn't even a very good two pages.

Kinda like this blog entry...

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