I am sitting in a Starbucks, cut from the same die as all of the others, but different.
The floor is wet with melting snow – stomped from boots, humid closeness, I can taste the wet wool. The chafing of nylon ski clothes mutes the house music. Beyond the steamed windows, in the diffuse afternoon light, the gray wash of sky makes the snow capped rooftops bright. It’s a long way from my home in the Sonora desert. Whistler, British Columbia Canada.
I set out this morning to find a corner of a cafe to write. This is a very busy place on a wintry weekend. One of the signposts indicated that there is a library at the other end of the village. Certainly a practical choice but how could I explain that I went to a world class ski resort (even if the purpose was work related) only to go to a library. Such is the life of a writer, at least when he is not consumed by his day job. I do plan on experiencing this stunning landscape but not today – a bit too wet for me and my camera.
There is a scene in the movie ‘Love Actually’ (a favorite film of mine) where a young English bloke, not too clever, not too good looking, heads to the U.S. thinking he will be more attractive as a foreigner. As the world of movies would have it, he is befriended by 3 stunning young woman who ask him if he would like to stay with them, but there is a catch – they only have one bed.
To my right, pinned to the notice board is a wrinkled 8 1/2 x 11 sheet with a fuzzy black and white picture of two young women smiling. The caption reads, “2 in 1”,2 persons, Swedish, No Home, Please let us be your roommate….Don’t need much space, can even share a bed!…The sign offers no restrictions, eg: Gender, Non Smoking…..maybe the movie wasn’t so wrong.
The lineup has grown and curls into this back section. Men stand with hands in pocket or with arms crossed. A few glance casually at the notice board. The younger males snicker and poke each other.
A man in his early 40’s lets a smile drip onto his face as he reads about the ‘desperate’ situation of the Swedes. The woman beside him turns, the tap tightens and the drip, the smile, is cut off and vanishes. She scans the notice board, her reaction is altogether different. About to look at the man, the lineup shuffles forward – thankful the man reaches for his cash and the focus shifts to their coffee order. No difficult questions.