I have never had a baby, but I imagine this feeling is kind of like when you’ve been sitting at home, taking care of your awesome kid, which is super great and very heartwarming and fulfilling, but after awhile you maybe need to escape, take some time for yourself, emerge blinking into a baby-free world. Getting out of the house, wearing grownup clothes, sitting upright and not covered in strained peas. A vacation, of sorts. Everyone needs a vacation. I need a vacation. Every Friday, I drive into SLC with E, when he goes to work, and it feels like a vacation, it feels a little like freedom, it feels like anything could happen! Nothing actually happens, but it feels so nice.
It is kind of an enforced routine–up at a certain time, or you’re left behind, shower or you feel gross out in public all day, get to the coffee shop and be forced to work because there’s something about setting up officially at a table, with your laptop in front of you and your notes spread around you and people all industriously sipping caffeinated beverages around you that makes you want to be productive and industrious. It feels like a waste, when I putter around on the Internet, poking at links and reading blogs. I am here to work! I am going to work! It is a working vacation! It is amazing, how much I get done when I head into the big city.
Why don’t I do it every day? I’m lazy, of course. But also: It is amazing, how guilty you can feel,
taking up a table in even a fair-sized shop in which more than three
tables are never taken. And how much money I spend to rent my table.
Here is a latte. And then an organic muffin. And then another latte.
And how about some quiche? And I’ll take a bottle of water, a little
carton of yogurt, maybe a pot of tea, and can I give you a kidney? A
lung? My hopes and dreams in a little glass jar? Please don’t resent
me! I’d totally resent me. Except for how well I’m tipping! Look at me,
tip tip tip! With the tipping.
This is why the vacation analogy is perfectly appropriate–how much do
you spend on vacation? About as much as I spend in this café. How
happy am I to be here, in pants, feeling so responsible and maybe a
little artsy, with my foamy latte in a ceramic cup, frowning at the
screen, tapping my pen against the page, shuffling my papers and
looking intent, studious, concerned and so scholarly? So happy. This
is kind of how I imagined how being a writer is. Except in Paris. And
exactly this expensive.