With 6 Others

“The usual?” The question is done mostly with the eyes and a slight informal moving of the lips. I nod. I smile and instead of saying “yes”, I ask “Como va todo?”. “Todo bien” says the café owner.  He looks at the counter. He is busy pouring a cappuccino. I move on.

9:10am. I have dropped the kids at school. Now working from the café. I open my laptop.  Emails. I read the important ones,  check the news, and start with my agenda for the day. Xavier brings my coffee.  I thank him. I take a new breath and look around. The music is playing. And I smile.

The same people are around the café. The same people I see every morning at 9:10am. Men in suits, men in polos and women.

Back to my plan. Writing. Writing and humming the song that is playing. Sounds familiar. I probably have been humming it for a while now. Another sip of coffee. Somebody else is humming too.  The dark blue barn jacket is folded on the chair next to me. The man is reading the newspaper and humming the same song. He is here every morning.

Two men in suits discuss something over their iphones. They laugh and joke with the café owner. He jokes back. His joke is not directed towards anybody in particular, it is for all of us. To share.  And some people look up and smile lightly.

The girl with a bluish nail polish is reading a book. She is done with her breakfast; the croissant crust crumbs look messy on her plate. She is wearing a beige cardigan.  Skinny girl with long hair.

All our feet are reflected in the mirror in front. From left to right: a pair of white snickers, moccasins, wedges, ballerina shoes, two black business pairs and one brown.

Seven of us at the café. Every day the same people spend with me the first thirty minutes of the day.  If I ever decide to tweet about my 9:10am experience, I will say “at Doctor Coffee with 6 others”.

I get out of the door. The music is left behind. The morning air is fresh. The touch of sunlight is weightless.  And the next 15 busy hours of the day do not seem hard.

Barcelona, October 8th, 2012

Fresh Bread

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Every day I go to buy the fresh bread to the closest bakery. It has become my morning ritual again. Years ago, living in Barcelona as a student, every morning I would go down the street to get my baguette and walk my dog. The lady at the bakery knew me well and would always offer a day old baguette to my dog. Banga, my dog, would get the baguette in her mouth and triumphantly walk home by my side, making everybody smile. A slim husky dog carrying a long baguette home. It is a funny sight.

After ten years in California I am back to Barcelona now. Every morning my two year old son and me go down to the corner bakery store to get our fresh bread for breakfast. It is the best start of the day. We go down the stairs, then through the hall and into the street. With his small hand my son shows me the way to go. He is proud he knows the way. We walk to the store and look at the bread. The store smells of the fresh bread and the bread crust. Bread crust is the best part of the bread. And we select the bread and receive it from the lady who already remembers us. She gives the warm bread to my son, we pay her and then walk home. It takes us about ten minutes to get the bread. And as we walk with my son from the bakery and I am holding his small hand in mine, I know that these are the best ten minutes of the day.  They somehow structure my day and make the rest of it perfect.

Barcelona, July 14th, 2012