All I wanted was a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee and some air. So I fucked off out of the apartment and hit the nearest Starbucks. Because I wanted an Americano, and fuck you if Starbucks doesn’t make good coffee. Even if it’s corporate coffee, it’s still fucking coffee. Any cup of coffee is good coffee. Cold, bitter, swill is still delicious and awesome if it has that desired coffee effect, which is keeping me jittery and on edge more-so than I already am. Its like warm beer; when you really need it, you don’t care what form it takes. I think the worst cups of coffee I ever had were those I bought from the Mac Convenience Store down the road from the call center. Seattle’s Best. Now that shit, was shit. Yet even knowing that, I still bought cup after cup of it every day. Because coffee, is fucking coffee.
So I walked to Starbucks, smoked two cigarettes, and watched the traffic fly down Glenmore Trail. Two weeks living in the city and I’m still not used to all the noise. Sure, I had lived downtown before, lived by police stations and highways, but in Nanaimo, everything went full stop after midnight, and after that, all the noise you’d ever hear would be an occasional pack of drunks or a fire-truck screaming past ever so often. So I’m still getting used to the constant roar that Calgary seems to hurl out. There’s really no escaping it in the summer either, it’s too hot at night to board up the windows, so me and the girlfriend basically need to endure it, or cook to death in our own juices and body sweat. Sexy huh?
I walked into Starbucks, bought my coffee for two bucks or so, and paid with debit because I’m not an actual adult. Then I stood and waited while they crafted it with whatever barista voodoo they do when they’re all fueled up by soft jazz, independent music and housewife bitterness that they fucked up and put fat into something non-fat. While waiting for my coffee I people watched, and tried to not actively hate literally everyone around me. I don’t know what it is about people, but people fucking suck. Nobody in that Starbucks had ever done anything wrong, but that certainly didn’t stop me from having to actively not hate all of them. I would find a way, and of course, within two seconds, I did. Anyone who ordered a drink that was the least bit complicated, got both barrels of my mental rage emptied into them, because fuck them for ordering a…whatever. I don’t even remember, it was just something to keep me awake. Maybe I have a problem.
Black coffee blues. My coffee was delivered to me and I knew, since it was an Americano with no room, that it would be at least three hours before I could even begin to sip the fucking thing without scalding my tongue to a blackened crisp. Such is the price that one has to pay for drinking real coffee. Luckily, the Starbucks near my domicile is attached to Chapters bookstore. Unfortunately, I have this thing with bookstores.
Now, I love reading books. Give me a solid piece of literature, a double of something from the green isle, and the girlfriend’s legs draped across my lap, and I’m onto a plane of complete euphoria. I don’t like much, but I like that a whole lot. However, bookstores (and libraries for that matter) send me into a twitchy, uncomfortable, nervous doom spiral, that I can’t avoid no matter how hard I try. Simply put, there are just too many fucking books.
I’m not a slow reader, but I’m not a fast reader either. I can’t devour whole tomes in an entire day, but it doesn’t take me a month to slam down whatever shit Dan Brown put out recently either. (Don’t ask why I’m reading Dan Brown, in fact, fuck you, it’s entertaining, not everything needs to have an award sticker crucified to the front of it.) Because of my reading pace, I know that I will never be able to read every book in Chapters, and the knowledge of that, the knowledge that I won’t be able to read every author, and every book in every single genre, drives me frothing, raving, furious. That fury then turns to desperation as I wander the aisles aimlessly, trying to pick just a select few books to read through, but then I recall all the books I have littering the floor of my apartment that I haven’t read, then I just simply black out somewhere in the world history section, and my last thought is a prayer that I don’t smoke my fucking head on some weighty hardcover about European independence on the way down.
That didn’t happen this time though. Because I made it two steps into Chapters and saw that a bunch of the fucking Kardashian sisters had gotten together and written a book. That was a pretty much a sign that literature was dead, and maybe I shouldn’t even bother reading books ever again.
I left and walked home. The fresh air I had wanted wasn’t present, but that was okay. It was good to be out of Chapters. Later, I sat at my desk, drank my coffee, listened to music that I thought wasn’t dead, and hammered this out because nobody was home except the cats and I was bored.