So many, many thoughts

There are two favourite parts of my day: the morning coffee, and the evening glass of wine.
I like them so much, I’d like to drink coffee all day and start sipping the wine around 4 o’clock.
However. I don’t.
I know better.
Too much coffee, and it no longer tastes like anything more than hot scrubwater.
Wine too early or too much, and I might as well just go straight to bed.
Nah. I must portion out my pleasures if I want to enjoy them.
Less is more.
Oh yes, yes it is!
Don’t get me started, or I will tell you that it’s true in sex, too.
And it will be more than you wanted to know.
No, it won’t. It would be good for you to know.
But it would be more than I wanted to say to the general public. Which you are.
Still, you should know.
I’ll give you a hint: read Charles Mingus’s autobiography, Beneath the Underdog.
An older man gave him some very good advice.

I read this quite a few years ago and as time has passed I’ve realized how true it is.

Also, one of these days I’m going to write down my thoughts about sex in movies and on tv now. How unrealistic I think it is about how women act and what turns them on, and the misleading message it is giving to women and to men. How I suspect most of it is surely written by men because it seems to be the epitome of male fantasy, while often there doesn’t seem to be much in it for the women.

These are the things that cross my mind as I sit here of an evening, up in my tower, after a day’s work in the café, drinking wine.
The list is long; of things, that is, that cross my mind.


coffeeourspecialty

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Plugged Pipes

The ladies have been in. I should call them the “readers,” actually, since that’s what they talk about — books. They don’t always close the door on their discussions, which I then catch bits and pieces of. I’m not sure what they’re reading right now but I heard one of the women relating it to her late grandmother and how she adapted to survive abuse at the hands of her husband.

She didn’t feel she could leave, and that may well have been the case back then; a woman may have had no way to earn a living, she would not have had legal claim to any property or child support if she did get away with her children or get rid of the husband; and since children were considered the property of the husband, she would have had to leave them behind. Most women wouldn’t.

Anyway, the husband always blamed her when the kitchen sink drain got clogged. She was careless, he said, and he didn’t appreciate it when he had to clean the pipe. After the job was done, he would take her out to the barn and give her a beating.

To avoid those beatings, she would wash the dishes in a basin in the sink and carry the water out, throwing it behind the house, rather than taking advantage of their indoor plumbing. They had indoor plumbing because they were fairly well off. They could even have afforded a cook or a maid to do the kitchen work, but the husband insisted on his wife doing it all. They had seven children, none of whom were permitted to help her.

If I lived a life such as that, my husband would be eating a lot of shit without knowing it.

Gladstone-Hotel-Cafe-Toronto-Restaurant

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Snowbound

I don’t know how anyone does it. Really. Does anyone? I mean, run a café and keep a blog. Blogs are for night auditors at hotels, who have hours to fill (I presume). Café owners are run off their feet.

All the more reason to sit down and blog a bit. I seem to forget to get around to it, though. The only reason I’m doing it now is that everyone in the countryside is snowed in after a day of winter storming. I’ve shovelled the sidewalk and dug out the car but no one is coming or going yet, much. The door’s not opening and letting in the cold air, so it’s cosy here behind the counter. Normally on these frigid days the draft from the door drives me to the back room. Should I build on a front porch? Of course I should. In this weather I think so; other days, it doesn’t seem necessary.

In other news: Last week I drove to the city to pick up some supplies, and nearly got a ticket for distracted driving. No, I wasn’t texting or talking on the phone. I had taken my harmonica and had it in the rack so my hands and eyes weren’t otherwise occupied. It’s relaxing to play while I drive and I seem more sharply focussed than normally, as opposed to less. However, the constable who saw me didn’t think so. He gave me a warning.

Maybe me and my harmonica holder are a distraction to other drivers. I never thought of that.
Or maybe it was just an excuse to stop me. He seemed more friendly than scoldy. I wouldn’t mind taking a closer look at him, either, in other circumstances. Boys. Ya gotta love ‘em. And police officers. In their uniforms they always seem so crisp and sharp, like a shiny new toy.

Men in uniforms have never been my type, but lately I’m just liking all kinds. Every kind. OK maybe not hockey players or pencil-pushers but still, almost all men, young and old. They are all mysteriously attractive. Am I in trouble here?

tazza_di_caffe

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New Friends Old Friends

~ ~ ~ ✿⊱╮✿⊱╮✿⊱╮✿⊱╮✿⊱╮~ ~ ~

I displayed little Christmas spirit, yet the day wasn’t far away.

I strung the interior lights around the window though, and hung lights from the trees out front one day when it was melty warm and Rueben was at work inside. He wanted to do it, but I pulled rank and said “I’m the boss!” In the afternoon sun there was actually heat on my face when I turned in the orb’s direction. I did not want to come back inside when I finished.

Rueben is the guy I hired a few weeks ago— or is it months already? He comes complete with a gentle disposition and a love of fun. It feels like he’s been here from the beginning, because he’s so easy to have around. He’s married to someone Dawn knows, who recently moved to town. They’ve been living in the city till he retired just a while ago, so this is quite a change for them. She’s gone to work at the store down the street. So much for retirement.

The odd old friend has been coming in over the Christmas season. People I haven’t seen for a while, home to see their parents or visit other family. The memories! And how easy it is to talk to them. Add sparkly coloured lights flashing in the dark, and I knew that one of these nights I would remember the magic.

cartoon ladies

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The Dead

Dear Pastor,

Thank you for filling in at the blog when I went to the city. I don’t mind that you took your entry down; your reasons are your reasons and I’m not questioning them.

You did bring up an interesting subject— that the moment someone dies we start speaking of them as if they were sainted. It’s so silly. But perhaps it is not a time to tell the truth. It is a time we seek comfort, we try to make the change normal, we find a wobbly new leg to stand on. Many platitudes are spoken. I can’t say that’s wrong. Maybe they comfort and serve some.

Another thing I notice is that those who believe in life after death seem to expect that their loved one, the moment he “passed over to the other side,” now has access to much more wisdom than he did before. Suddenly he is a guru who can come to your aid and even see into the future. He becomes magical. To me this never has made sense. Death as enlightenment? Hm.

So back I am, at the breadmaking, the soupmaking, the muffinmaking. It’s good to be home. The city is a good place to visit but it’s not home. By the way, it wasn’t Spike J. who died in the rollover, but his nephew, and Gran asked me to drive her to the funeral. Damn funerals. I can’t wangle out of ‘em no-how!

coffee and cinnamon sticks

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Done

✿⊱╮

“I’m not picking on anybody!” he said. “I’m just saying what’s true.”

Is that right? I don’t care.

“Take your truth to somebody else’s restaurant,” I said, softly. I’d had plenty of time to decide how exactly to speak to this man so that the exchange might not turn into a yelling match.

It made no difference. Not on his part, anyway. I practised my “quiet power” — getting said what I had to say, but not being an asshole about it. And he, after a diatribe of ugly words aimed at my head, stomped out the door.

Never to return! I hope.

Lordy be but I’m having to be assertive these days. It’s quite uncomfortable. Why can’t everybody just get along?

I suppose I’m lucky he didn’t get physically violent. They say verbal abusers often do, eventually. That was the least of my worries. I just felt like throwing up.

fair trade coffee

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Bad Customer

There’s a guy who comes in here every day and I always hate to see him walk through the door. Good customer, you might think. And yes, I guess that’s true; he’s a hungry man and he eats here, and I should (should, I say) hate to lose his trade.

But he’s not a nice man. He’s demanding, he’s a complainer, he’s unreasonable. He’s rude, he’s loud, and he’s a loose cannon. I am never sure when he is going to fly off the handle because he is not happy about the soup we are serving— he wanted another kind than the ones we have made that day— or maybe someone has come in with a child who is not being perfectly quiet and this he seems to find a terrible thing, or maybe he didn’t get his meal three minutes after ordering it, or he thinks my prices are too high. He always finds something to bitch about, and the bitching is always far and above what the problem deserves (and there isn’t really a problem as far as I’m concerned, until he creates one by his behaviour), and I am sick and tired of it.

The thing is, he does not behave this way when someone else is in the café. When anyone else is around, he seems normal, nice, even. If he is irritated by a customer, he will wait till that person leaves and then he will complain to me. But if he is in here alone with me, he will rant. It could be about a meal he had three days ago. It could be about the menu in general. Whatever. It’s always irrational, and I am the only one at the café who deals with this bullying. He has not tried it with the staff. Just me. And I am at the end of my rope now. Every day I hope he will not come in. Every day I stiffen my spine when he does. I do not want to lose my temper and sink to his level.

I do not want him here. I don’t want his money. And I have to confront him and tell him so.

Wish me luck. Maybe today will be the day.

moomin cafe

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