An Excerpt from the Old World

I wrote this while writing my second novel last year at a coffee shop I’d visited almost every day for those two months. 


November 11th, 2019

I’m stuck and so I’ll just write what I see.

The cafe. People. (Man I’m such a good writer.) 

A man. He’s digging into the tiny plastic cup for his dollop of cream cheese. He’ll never ever think at all of me looking at him like this. What a creep I am. But then, he doesn’t know I am. And writing this down. And so really this is the most beautiful two humans can be, me and him–we’re both in the creative trance.

There is nothing more beautiful than one human watching another and there is nothing more beautiful than a human engaged so creatively with his environment, even something as mundane and automatic as digging for your cream cheese as your bagel steams on front of your on that white plate.

That’s why I love to write in cafes and coffeeshops, some place where people are constantly on their phones or where they are eating.

Think of it. How wonderful it is for two human beings to be so creatively engaged in their environment. I study you running the blade of the butter knife around the inner edge of that little plastic cup of plain cream cheese.

I study it, I write it down, and I’m immersed in my own way. My way. I make this a way. I don’t hear voices or worries. I am completely disengaged with my own self, my own ego.

This old hippie in this north side coffee shop about to spread refrigerated cream cheese on his toasted bagel. I smell the aroma of cinnamon and applaud him for being festive. I imagine that the cream cheese has some kind of honey in it to make it sweet and match well with the cinnamon. Or maybe it could be peanut butter.

There he goes, taking a bite. And in this small pocket of time, before he’s gotten his bearings, he will be, with every millisecond of his attention, right here. It is not HIS butterknife and HIS kitchen table and HIS bagel, and so he MUST spend all of this attention to make sure that everything goes smoothing. He MUST be creative, in however small an amount.

But also he is in a crowded cafe, and so he can’t totally be himself. So what and who IS this man if it’s not totally a facade and not totally genuine?

If I was hiding in the living room watching this, I would really be a creep and a criminal, so this muted, reserved naturalness will have to do. Here he is.

But the other half of the coin is me and my own words right here with him, because I am not a facade nor genuine either. I am just as immersed as he is—studying him study his breakfast; and from this beautiful, ego-smashed experience, are we that much closer to being purer human beings?

We are children to our creations, both sharing a micro-moment of the larger picture that hovers beyond our own five senses as what? (God, The Universe, or whatever name we describe the unnameable).

Yes, I believe we are: finally, if only for that moment, we are our true nature. Only in birth and death can we be any more closer to purity. Star brothers we are.


Just a little piece I found back when we were all in the same room together, so to speak. I miss humanity and can’t wait for us to be back together.

Create and Complete, fellow humans!


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