Every Saturday, without fail, I wake and walk to one of my favorite nearby cafes.
Equipped with a book, laptop, notebook, and pen, I stride toward my morning nourishment.
I make a decision, rather last minute, about which one I’ll choose.
Mind made up, I head in the direction of my weekend sanctuary.
Cool winds biting at my face, I withdraw deeper into my coat, raising my shoulders for warmth.
EarPods in place, I tap through my recents. Drake’s probably there. He always finds a way.
Landing on the right notes, I press on toward the shop.
I peek through the window as I near the door.
Friends, couples, singles.
Coworkers, family, lovers.
Everyone finds joy in the sacred space of brunch.
I glance at the menu, but already know.
Almost always a latte, or the occasional black, depending on the intrigue.
Almost always a tasty pastry. To start.
And usually something more, to capitalize on this venture, and round out the morning.
With haste, I find a space to place my things and myself.
At ease, I turn a page, beginning to read.
Sipping my coffee, small sips — it’s hot — I make it about a page.
Before I hear my name in the distance, or a plate of comfort arrives.
At which point I stop what I’m doing to move onto this treat.
And I begin to eat.
And then I’ve eaten.
And I feel great.
At least for a moment, I take everything in.
The people around, sharing their days, with the people who mean something to them.
Sharing stories from the week, month, or year.
Catching up. Picking up where they left off. Continuing the story.
Conversations and listening and empathy. Trust, comfort, respect for one another.
Deep thoughts, happy thoughts, sad thoughts.
Loneliness, wandering, lost.
Some work, on their jobs they care so much about.
Or write, to make sense of life.
Or scribble notes in their notebooks and laptops as they savor free internet, in a lively space.
And back at my table, alone or with friend,
I start to feel guilty about how much time we’ve spent.
Monopolizing a space, best given up to the next.
Someone looking for their brunch to begin.
And so we depart, although we’d like to stay.
And wander throughout the rest of our day.
Unsure how to spend it, but grateful to have it.
The after-brunch slump on weekends of habit.