The humid chill seeps through my sweatshirt as my friend mindlessly twirls an empty coffee cup side to side and debates the importance of graduating in four years. She misses the pointed look from a wandering barista. I guess he doesn’t feel our $3.98 pumpkin spice lattes justify a 3-hour campout.
Looking around, I notice the faces haven’t changed from my 11 a.m. arrival. The blonde teenager furrows her brow as she switches from yellow to lime green highlighters. A man in wrinkled plaid and jeans drags on another cigarette, earning a glare from his middle-aged neighbor leafing though the Wall Street Journal.
There’s something about coffeehouses that begs for marathon study sessions or drawn-out reunions. Maybe the fumes keep customers on an Energizer Bunny high, speaking, moving and sipping at heart-palpitation speed. Or it could be the free Wi-Fi.
Fueled by comforting scents of vanilla, hazelnut and mocha, coffee shop conversations dip into uncharted territories. They form the foundation of first dates and mend bridges of lapsed friendships.
Over the whirl of the coffee grinder, my friend feels safe enough to share fears of the future. Between sips, we reminisce about old memories and discuss the six months we have been apart. In the coffee shop, time stops.