We Need Cafes(For Abdi & Hollis)
I woke up in morning excited, I couldn't wait … Not to check my Facebook requests, or new Twitter followers. Not to see my Instagram likes, my “DMs” or even to see how many emails about opportunities I received that would guarantee my financial future… No, I was excited, rushed to the shower, took my vitamins, ignored the texts that were buzzing, so I could rush out of my house, and go to "The Cafe".
I was excited because cafes are everything, and the walk into the cafe is the experience of the cafe to me. You walk in, and bam… there it is: the smell of coffee brewing, the baking of croissants, cool tunes spinning, people reading, writing, typing… MOST OF ALL, the loudest sh*t I hear is the greatest sound in the world:
The Meeting of Minds!
I have always loved going to cafes since I was 16. It was at the cafe where I lost and found myself all in the same day. There was a cafe attached to the Barnes & Noble in my hometown. I would go there because as an aspiring jazz musician, it was the place where I could actually feel comfortable. I could read my drum magazines and order a hot chocolate. Then I could go over to the music side and literally peruse through all of the Jazz CDs, studying the art of each album cover. Then I would usually see some really cute girl, I would look at her then her beautiful smile would quickly lose my attention because wait… Is that a new Roy Hargrove record ? (Attention Diverted)
However, current times, I am at this long awaited cafe in Harlem. I walk in and I am in love. I order the delicacies that will be the culinary tapestry for my stomach today. Then walks in my mentor and friend ready to philosophically spar! After he has ordered his Cafe con Leche, with an almond croissant, he begins.
"Diversification or Starvation"…
We spar, he hits a right jab, I hit a left, then he knocks me out cold with this blow…
"Never do anything unless you have 5 reasons"
Then another sage enters the cafe, a writer and a friend. We all embrace, joke and jest. The connection and introductions have been made. (RINGING OF THE BELL)
Fight is back on, and now we have a third opponent.
"Artwork is the escape of death. You enter into the eternal when you create art because you will be forever remembered".
I am now knocked out for a 2nd time.
He asks the waiter for real sugar for his Cafe Americano before pulling out his computer and saying , "Oh you're a drummer, read my latest writing".
"A Requiem For Harlem"…
I read it, am inspired and completely re-charged. He tells me that he encountered these beautiful drummers in Harlem playing rhythmic lamentations because Harlem is no more. They were playing to accompany Adam because Adam Clayton Powell (the statue) is alone. There is nothing reflecting his previous existence in the world, and now facing him is a Starbucks. The Harlem he built, is no more…
We take a break, and my mentor instructs me to leave my things and go with him outside. We must eternalize this moment.
He takes photos. (We are now Eternal)
We return inside and I surmise to myself: we need cafes.
The world is becoming much smaller with the invention of social media but colder because there are so many ways to connect with people without really connecting with them.
How do we connect without connecting? In romantic and intimate connections, how do you date without dating?
How do you express attraction having never sat over a cup of tea together? Wanting to order more tea; but your fear is if you get up from the table, that exact look of enchantment in your interest's eyes might change and you don’t want to risk that. It’s in their eyes, that you see the possibility of a brighter tomorrow, so your next cup of tea can wait...
How do you say I need you, if you've never read a book together?
How can I say I want to be around you, if I never sat across from you sneaking looks of you while you read.
Or… How can I know how alluring you are , if I am walking down the aisles of a book store and walk by you, rushing to that section of books I want to discover, that I am stopped in my tracks by the whiff of your perfume. I then realize the book I needed is next to your book and I will stretch this moment as long as I can just so I can meditate on the scent of your perfume because it smells like the woman I always wanted. The pacing of your footsteps are enamored with a patience and an ease of a woman I'd love to count the stars with, under an Aspen Moon.
I am Unfriending you, so I can really be your friend
We need cafes. We need spaces and environments that inspire us to create a connection. An opportunity to truly request a friend, and accept friendship with a true bonding experience all within a day.
These days we have fragmented friendships. We have divided and compartmentalized them into requests, pokes and notifications.
My next notification for you will be an instant message, requesting you, poking you and following you to a cafe to sip a cup of coffee with me, and to friend my mind.
Meet me at the cafe, because I need you there!