I want to convince you that I can be totally normal. I want to show you my totally average side. I know I’m weird, and I’ve bared my strange soul to you. So I would like to show you how I am also just like everyone else. I’m at Barnes and Noble, a place I consider sacred. I’m sitting at a green table drinking a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s decaf ’cause it’s too late in the day for me to have real coffee. Some people wonder why people even bother drinking decaf, I’m with you on that…I have no idea why I’m drinking expensive fake coffee.
I’m meeting some college friends for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory tonight. My mouth is watering thinking about that Reese’s Pieces cheesecake with it’s peanut buttery, chocolate madness. I’m also excited because an old friend from college is in town. Honestly is it the friends or the cheesecake I’m looking forward too? It’s a draw.
There is man in a cowboy hat sitting across from me. You don’t really see that much in these parts. I try to see what cowboy is reading but I can’t make it out. I wonder what kind of man he is. Is he a redneck? Would he hate me? I should ask him…just kidding.
There is a man limping terribly near me, he’s talking to himself. He seems like he might be intellectually disabled. I want to say something, about how much I respect those that are disabled in any way. I was just thinking about this book I read where the guy is extremely mentally handicapped and then has a procedure done to make him almost a genius. When he has a low IQ he is incredibly happy. When he is smart he is incredibly unhappy. Would you rather be smart and unhappy or very unintelligent and happy? Most people you will find will choose smart. I find that interesting. I can’t decide what I would choose.
This woman next to me is playing this loud obnoxious video on her phone. Lady please, get a grip. Don’t be rude! I just ate a cupcake, a vanilla one. Shit I ate cake ’cause I forgot about the cheesecake. Cake is sooo good I can’t talk about it. I can’t have two cake products in one day! That’s like having your cake and eating it too, who do I think I am? I think I’m eating sweets because I’m very uptight today, it’s weird. My shoulders need a massage…
Today I also went to Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak, Michigan, it’s a tea cafe. I went there to chat with a friend. We sat by the window watching the trendy twenty-somethings with their tight black leggings and tattoos walk by. We talked about life and all it’s nuances while drinking Jasmine tea out of a steaming glass tea pot. We talked about jobs and how we hate them. She’s a waitress but she can do more than wait tables. She can charm a room.
A woman with blue hair and a faux fur coat told me I looked familiar. She thought my name was Connie. I read an article about how names are just names, any name I choose is who I am. Kaur is my pen last name because I don’t want my employers to read my stuff on here. But I could call myself Veronica. I mean my name is mine. I own it, why can’t I change it? Does it even describe who I am? What does nina say about me? It means ‘girl’ in Spanish but it is actually a Russian name. I suppose certain letters contain sounds that have certain vibrations. I suppose there is a certain cadence to ‘nina.’ Every Sikh woman is supposed to take the last name Kaur. Kaur means princess, god knows I think I’m royalty.
There are beautiful paintings with asian script on them and tiny porcelain tea sets with tinier flowers delicately painted on them. I want to buy all the pretty tea sets and I don’t even like tea that much. Coffee is more my thing. A man is standing by me and my friend, leaning on a coat rack, closing his eyes as if he’s sleeping while standing. My friend looks over at him and stares, he won’t know we are staring. Then he opens his eyes and stares back at us. My friend asks him what he does.
How and why she managed to ask a complete stranger what he does is beyond me. He says something about Internet security, he has red hair and wide blue eyes. They talk for a bit and he says that he meditates…there is a man after my own heart. Really? I ask. “I’m not very good at it,” he says.
“No one is,” I reply. We get into a conversation about work and life and how he’s writing a novel. He says he needs inspiration, I tell him the best advice I can give a writer is to write. Most writers spend a lot of time thinking. If they spent as much time writing as they do thinking about writing…
If people had the courage to say and speak their truth, we would all be better off.
Later, my friend leaves and I run into red haired man and his friend. His friend is fiercely friendly and offers to help me with my website. We talk and talk and talk and decide we will work together, the three of us. We exchange emails. I’m so excited and full of life and energy! I leave the two boys to their work and sit down at a sofa on the other side of the cafe. A good looking guy with a soft green colored sweater and a sable colored coat sits down across from me.
I find out he is a writer too, I’m inspired to talk to him even though he is a stranger. He has an MFA in writing as well. What are the chances? Apparently in my house of people, or whatever, the stars are aligning. We decide one day we will share work. He seems like an extremely nice person, almost Southern in nature.
I have made new friends. I’m in the middle of the Midwest, in Michigan. Sometimes I think I’m in the middle of nowhere, until something like this happens and I realize people are friendly and real here. The cashier has pink hair and she tells me she admires me for writing stories. Did I tell her that, or was she overhearing one of my conversations? It doesn’t matter, her long black feather earrings tell me she’s got style. I like her.
There is a man wearing all black. He has a black suit on with a black shirt on underneath it. I assume he is an artist. We smile at each other. He is carrying a bag that looks like it may contain a portfolio. I think I want to know more artists, and singers and dancers and those who create anything at all. The artist man is older, maybe in his fifties. A woman walks up to his table, she looks like an ex-hippie. Something about her faded plaid red shirt and her long straight hair.
They are talking about football. I’m surprised, I expect them to talk about global warming or cultural gentrification. This is not my conversation though. Just because I prefer people to be deep and meaningful or absolutely hilarious, two extremes, doesn’t mean the world will conform to my wishes. I’m bored listening to something about the Michigan, Michigan State game.
It’s not like I have anything against football or anything…I just am not really interested.
I read something about how if people were as passionate about other things in life such as the environment etc. as they are about football, the world might be different. All the screaming and waving of hands, all for a ball. I know there is more to it than that, and I know it’s really important to most people. I just don’t care either way.
It’s fun you say. It is fun. I can’t argue with fun. I love fun. It adds some spice to this sometimes dull life. “No one gets less respect than a skinny man.” The man wearing black says. What about a fat woman, I think. Isn’t funny, men have to be bulky and women are supposed to be frail.
There is an old woman on a couch with pure white short hair who is deep in sleep. Her glasses are falling off as she leans over the side of the couch. She is so tiny and looks weak. I want to wake her up or tell her it’s going to be OK. I want to know what she knows.
Why did I come here? We have plenty of tea at home, I make chai for my parents every morning. Real chai doesn’t taste like it does at Starbucks or even at this tea house. Just like real people don’t look like they do on T.V. and real food doesn’t look like it does in a magazine. They paint turkeys so they look more delicious. That’s disgusting. Give me flaws, let me see the scars. Give me real authentic cultural food and drink.
Don’t feed me your antibiotics and pesticides. I’m tired of my food being mixed with random chemicals. Then I have to take chemicals to fight the chemicals. And then all I am in the end is one big chemical reaction.
The man in the black suit said “draconian.” I knew he was an intellectual. Do you think you are an intellectual? I don’t know if I’m smart enough to be one. I don’t know anything about science or math. Does that make me half-brained? I have no left brain. Oh yes, the man in black and the hippie are talking about India and Mahatma Gandhi. They are discussing the meaning of truth. They are talking about liberalism, hippies, progressive people and racism. I want to join in. This is like watching a good talk show.
I love my life.
The world is right again.