Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year (and an observation)

The last day of my holidays finds me writing my first post of the last of the "oughts". Odd how nine years have gone by without humanity finding an acceptable name for this first decade of the 2000s.  How will we brand these 3,205 days? What will we call our retro nights to come? Will next year start the "20-10s?" Put it this way - if it's the biggest challenge we'll face all year i think it will be a blessing for all. But, the promise of beach bunny Barack notwithstanding, I think somehow it's a tad optimistic.

So I had planned to spend my last day quietly musing and reading in our newly relocated and Cloverrific coffee shop. Acting on one of this year's resolutions - to read the pages between the covers of the books i own and not just the spines - i had brought with me Fabrizio's Return, by former colleague and Ottawa resident Mark Frutkin. It would be a good way to close out the holidays, I thought, being one of those people straight out of central casting who populate coffee shops in the hours between 9 and 5. You know, those people who, when you see them on a quick jaunt between meetings at the office prompt you to ask yourself, Don't these people work? 

But no, dear readers, 'twas not the case. For you see, coffee shops are no longer conducive to quiet. Between the jackass on the cellphone,  the constant shuffling of patrons in and out (the only available table was near the door), the low-level fiddling with all computer cables of the woman beside me ("Oops, sorry."), it was sensory overload. Caffeine-powered cacophony. Were I John Cage i'd simply record 4 minutes and 33 seconds of it and call it music. But it was hardly conducive to a literary journey back to 16th century Italy.

Yuppie problems, I know. But I think there's something bigger, something telling about the whole experience. In any case, the clover coffee was really good.

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