Analog Coffee on 17th Avenue, home of Fratello Coffee Roasters, is one bustling spot. I came to study and find inspiration amidst the 6000-word essay that recently and completely ceased to make sense. It was either Analog or nothing, and I chose the high road.

Not surprisingly, many of the seats are taken. I grab my Americano from the counter – the baristas are efficient in their creations, and don’t pause in their work for a second. I look around. Bingo – far left side, facing the window. That’s the most beautiful thing about Analog, I think. The layout is designed in such a way that high stools face the outside world and people-watching becomes second nature.

I pull out the stool, start up the MacBook, and take a sip. The warm, familiar taste of caffeine starts to work its magic as I stifle a yawn. There are two people on either side of me, and I’m peeking over at the guy on my left. Bearded, red flannel, reading a book. Classic nomad. I cannot tell which book he’s reading for fear of being too obvious. Guy on my right is a chatty fellow. From the route the conversation is going, he appears to be on the phone with his significant other. Another sip.

Nomad hasn’t changed the page for awhile. Is he even reading? Does he like to take his time enjoying word for word, or did he actually flip a page and I didn’t notice? I worry that he is aware of my observing his habits. Back to my essay. Chatty gets up, leaves his muffin wrapper and water glass there, and goes outside. He’s still on the phone, and now he’s standing in front of the window I’m facing. We awkwardly make eye contact, and I bury my face in my large coffee. My thoughts dissolve in the rich flavour.

Nomad changes a page. Finally! Out of the corner of my eye I can see that he’s a good half way through the novel. A couple minutes later, he closes the book – not marking his page, what a diehard – and grabs his things and leaves. Chatty is still outside, motioning with his free hand as he talks. What is he talking about?

I find myself relaxing in the pleasant atmosphere, and eventually I’m looking out onto 17th Ave, lost in a daydream. I meander my way to the counter, order a blueberry scone, and enjoy the last of my Americano.

As soon as I get home, the inspiration comes.


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