The Denver Café Chronicles pt. 1— Pablo’s on 6th

The Café Chronicles pt. 1

This is a project that I’ve been nervous to start. Because it is daunting. It requires me to hold myself accountable, to finish something, to follow through with an idea that I have. Following completely through with my ideas is probably the one thing that I can confidently say I struggle with the most.

Mission: Every weekend I will visit a new café/coffee shop in Denver. The daunting part of this plan is that I intend to write, blog, at each one. My idea is to have 2 segments. The first part of the blog will be my experience at the café, a review if you will, how I’m feeling, what I see, etc… The second part will consist of a fictional story that I come up with while at the café. I’ll be grabbing onto my surroundings, the vibes, and my feelings to inspire a short story. Every story will be different, either short or long, varying in genre.  I’m thinking some stories will have a final ending, and some will be left open, like a chapter in a book. I’m starting part one of the chronicles at a coffee shop that I’ve been to many times, and moving forward I plan to visit ones I’ve never been to. And there’s a lot of them. Denver, being the cool and hip city that it is, I’ve already found more than a handful near my apartment. I have been feeling nervous about this whole thing for a while, knowing myself, and how difficult this may actually be to follow through with. But here I am, at my first café writing chapter one.

The Cafe Chronicles—Pt. 1

So, The Café Chronicles. Here I am. At Pablo’s Coffee on 6th Ave. It is a coffee shop that has good drinks, not too fancy, yummy pastries, and breakfast burritos for the hungover. It is an internet free zone which I think offers a refreshing vibe. It’s always full of people writing, reading, studying, playing board games, and enjoying a conversation with friends. The windows are full of tall green plants, the walls are decorated with old-timey looking tiles, and the seating is a mix of bar seats, high tops, low tops, and couches. When I would come here often, I would like to sit on a couch where the coffee table is. Underneath the table there are drawing books full of designs, writings, and random things the patrons of Pablo’s have added while enjoying their coffee. This is what had me fall totally in love with this place. I thought it was a cool place when I first went there, but when I discovered this part of the shop that was purely the community, I felt a deeper connection with it. Being new to Denver, and feeling its massiveness, I thought these books gave this place an intimate look into the wanderers of the city. 

Walking in the front door I notice the place is packed. I sit down at one of the last open tables which is smooshed between two other small tables. It seems like it was previously pushed together to make a larger table, but now remains in an awkwardly tight location between two occupied tables who obviously don’t know each other. I smoosh myself into this table and put down my things to claim the seat before I go up to order myself a cappuccino. When I get back I carefully take out my laptop trying not to bump into the very close table next to me. I can feel the sweat start to come through my light t-shirt, my anxiety is running a bit high thanks to the pot of coffee I had at home, and also due to the fact that I am so close to the people next to me you’d think I was part of their conversation. I spend a good minute untangling my headphones that were at the bottom of my bag, and I then awkwardly try to stuff them into a jack in my computer that is not compatible. In annoyance, I throw my headphones to the side. I sit there for a moment trying to compose myself enough to get in the writing mindset when I see some shuffling ahead of me from other tables. A hightop, next to the window and also right next to the back door, just opened up. I immediately stand up with my cappuccino and squeeze my way over to claim my new, more spacious, spot. I notice the slight cold breeze from the door is even refreshing. It takes me two more trips back and forth from the tables to gather all my stuff. Finally, sitting down at this much more ideal location, I rest my feet on the bottom part of the table only to find out that the table is wobbly causing a good portion of my untouched cappuccino to spill onto the plate it is sitting on. Out of peer reaction, I let out a loud “ugh” as I get up to grab some napkins. I wipe down the little bit of the table that the drink spilled over onto, and scoot my chair back so my feet don’t touch the table. I place my coffee cup on a ledge to the left of me and open back up my laptop.

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This place is special to me, that’s why I decided this to be the first location for The Café Chronicles. When I first moved out to Denver, I moved into a room in a house I found on a roommate app. I got really lucky as it was in a cool part of town with a less than a minute walking distance to this coffee shop, a cool dive bar, a street taco restaurant, and a dispensary. For the two months that I lived here, I would come to this coffee shop almost daily to order an iced tea and read a book. This coffee shop represented a lot for me. Moving to the city, one of the things I always said I wanted to do was live near a coffee shop, become a regular, and be “one of those people.” So, it seems just right that I start The Café Chronicles here, where my Denver journey began. In the first two months of living here, I went through almost every emotion imaginable and learned a whole lot about myself and about big city living. I’m still grateful for every scary, enjoyable, exciting, lonely, and new moment that it was. So, sitting in my used to be regular spot, I find a content and satisfied feeling sweep over me that makes me excited about the journey I plan to embark on with The Café Chronicles.

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Pablo is a young man in his early 20’s. He just dropped out of school to pursue his dreams of being an artist. Now, what kind of artist, he does not know. But, he feels that schooling is not what he is supposed to be going through right now, artistry is what he wants to explore. He lost all support from his family, financially and emotionally, since they do not understand his want to be an artist. They think it was irresponsible and spontaneous. Both his parents work at a law office and hoped Pablo would follow suit.

Shortly after his decision, he gets kicked out of his parent’s house and moves in with a buddy of his from college. He stayed on his couch for a little over a month while he picked up serving shifts at a fancy restaurant down the street. After receiving a slightly aggressive nudge from his buddy’s girlfriend, Pablo set out to find his own place. He was able to save up enough money for a down payment to a very small studio apartment below a liquor store.

He doesn’t mind the trash and neon lights that surround his front door, he actually kind of likes it. He likes how active the area around him is. Sure, there are shady looking people stumbling around at all times of the night, and he has to have a loud fan on to wipe out the noise of the busy street above him, but he loves his small flat. He bought himself a multicolored round rug from a thrift store, stole a couple mugs from his parent’s house along with his coffee machine, and he spent the last of his savings on canvases, paint and brushes, drawing paper, charcoal and markers to start off his exploration of being an artist—rather, finding out the kind of artist he wants to be. The first night in his studio he sat on his rug with a dimly lit lamp in the corner and sipped on a very strong cup of coffee. He laid back onto the rug and stared up at the ceiling, smiling–car honks, drunken yells and all.

me for you

I lay my ambition at my feet so I know what direction to go.

I wear my heart on my sleeve so it becomes part of my identity.

I write my dreams on my skin so I don’t forget.

I wear contacts so I can see more than what is in front of me.

I do things with purpose, with drive, with love, with question, with loyalty, with aim, with intention, and with wonder.

I speak in metaphors and similes so others can understand and relate to me. My life is mine, and yours is yours. I leave things open to interpretation because that’s what it’s all about. Finding out what works for you, how I can relate to you, and finding the perceptions you need to move forward to the person you want to be.

That is why I write. I write mostly what I feel and experience, and if what I feel touches on your life in any way, then every silly word or thought I write is worth the vulnerability I feel as a writer.

You hope it isn’t you

I’d hate to burst your bubble so let me elevate you to a level of understanding.

You’re so quick to the tongue that your teeth are in the way for words to find a landing.

 

You are a tie-dye kept together with the rubber bands of someone else’s bindings.

 

You spit out words of a person before.

It’s so quick that you don’t even notice their reflection in your mirror.

 

I bet that rotten taste in your mouth

is left over from when you went south.

 

You have your bubble and world of mime.

Let’s play bumper cars, I know I’ll have a good time.

 

Cake

You bewilder me.

You simplify my thoughts,

breaking them down and stretching them out.

You make ordinary something to look forward to.

Your scent lingers with me just like I want it to.

Because when I think you’re one flavor, sometimes I get more.

What can I say,

I like cake, and I want more of it.

Solid ground

Looking at yesterday, you feel it brush against you.

Its touch is sticky.

That’s where you stood, how you lived.

The moments that brought you to today, sting

Because to stand where you stand now, took courage.

To have courage you had to be strong.

To feel your strength you must have lived in pain.

Because when you look at where you stood then,

You can see the ice cracking under your feet.

To this day you can feel the water take your breath away.

That cold, that damn cold will always run through your veins.

 

Looking at today, you feel it lay on you.

It’s heavy.

It’s where you stand, how you’ve landed.

Yesterday may always sting,

But look at you now

Standing on solid ground .

The day is today.

There are a few things that I’d like to be known. And it’s not because the bullshit of it being a new year and I’m feeling all ambitious for the reason of the first of a month. No, it’s because of the weather today. My moods are like the seasons, expectant, ever changing, and surprising. Like days like today. It’s the second week into January, and after a good week of freezing face and ass weather, we are at a balmy 50 degrees. Granted, skies are still grey as hell, but the wind sounds different. It’s not as harsh and hating as it’s been. And you know what I woke up to this morning? A bird chirping. A bloody happy bird.

So, you could say I’m a woman moved by nature…ok so it’s more the weather but it’s pretty much the same thing and nature sounds so much more profound and deep so I’m gonna go with that.

This morning I also set my alarm to an early 8 am wake up call, but every time Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours serenade came on I immediately hit snooze, until it was 11 am. Now, even though I set this alarm to get in the routine of getting my day started out earlier, you know for my well being, that little voice in the back of my head kept shouting “why the hell did you set an alarm this morning, you idiot,” which further encouraged every snooze button hit.

Feeling pretty stiff come 11 am I throw my legs out of my bed, put some pants on, and precede to drag my lazy ass down the stairs. At this point I know full well I’m a let down, that other little voice in my head was telling me so. To make up for it I make myself a healthy breakfast of mushrooms, eggs, and toast, gulped down with a pot of very black coffee.

I do some reading after breakfast because I just read a headline the night before that CEOs read an average of 30 books a year. 30. I’m in the middle of 4 and I’ve been in the middle of one of them for 3 years.

I’ve been doing this thing lately where all I listen to at the gym is the Guardians of the Galaxy Pandora station. It really stirs something in me, and I dig it.

Got a bit off topic here, but I think my morning is a nice lead up to what I want to be known. Because having a good morning with certain intentions, warmer weather, and a singing bird stirred up some thoughts. I think it’s important to set goals for yourself, and I think it’s just as important to hold yourself accountable to them. While I do have several personal goals that do not need to be public knowledge, I have some that I think the public could benefit from too.

In todays society filled with social media, casual relationships, frightening politics, frightening leaders, and guarded-more-than-ever people, I think we all need to add a few things to our daily routine. Rather than setting a New Years resolution like going to the gym, which by the way every goddam body seems to be doing, set some resolutions that can actually contribute to more than your fucking glutes.

Here’s a few that I’m keeping in mind.

Look strangers in the eyes more. We all want to be seen.

Speak more realness. Too often we comply with what others are saying for the sake of saving face. We are so quick to agree with an opinion or topic, and a lot of times we aren’t fully informed on the said topic, but for some reason we just have to seem like we know what’s going on. For once, maybe say, “hmm I’m not really aware of all that you’re talking about,” rather than excitedly saying, “oh my god, I know what you mean,” or “for sure!” (que eye roll)

Be an outlier. To reiterate on the point above, say what you goddamn feel. It’s refreshing, and real—something this world needs a hell lot more of.

Love hard, and fucking fight. This is an obvious, but I’m realizing more and more that people have a tendency to go along with things because it’s easy. And yeah, you can definitely find yourself in a relationship because a lot of times it’s easier to be in one with someone because they’re easy to sit down to a dinner with. I call bullshit on a lot of things, and am picky as hell when it comes to people I let in. Fight for what you want, because easy isn’t going to get you what you really want, or need.

Laugh with people. I was at a movie the other week, and something happened at the end that really felt awesome. Everybody clapped, like really clapped. You could tell the whole theater was full of ear to ear smiles too. This felt like such a cool moment that we all experienced together. No matter what our views, beliefs, or demographics are, we all came together to feel this way.

Have more human experiences. Be present. Relate to others. Be kind. Be the best you can be. Be corny. Be smart. Lead. And most importantly, love.

Boom goes the dynamite

So there I am, at the gym working out on the arc trainer— you know, the elliptical looking machine that makes you look like you’re jumping over hot coals or something. I keep my phone in front of me laying horizontal on the ledge of the face of the machine. I go to skip a song on my Pandora station, cocking my head to read the name of the next song, when my hand gets caught up in my headphone cord which then sends my phone flying off the machine. Hitting the foot swingers of my machine on its way down, my newly leased iPhone bounces off not only the machine that’s to my left, but then off a third arc trainer before it finally hits the ground leaving booming echoes of this extraordinary fall. My headphones, dangling in front of me, still plugged into my ears. So harshly was my music torn from me and left me with the deafening loud hum of the ellipticals in front of me and some top-40 pop song overhead on the main speakers.

Muttering a “fuck, “which very probably was a bit above a mutter, as I angrily ripped out my earbuds and slowed down my pace to stop the machine so I could retrieve my phone two machines over. Thankfully there was nobody in the immediate area of fire. Apprehensively walking toward it, I could see it was facing down hiding any shame it now may have possessed. Bending over and under the machine to snatch it up, I turned it over to realize my fear was real. I had managed to crack yet another screen—another glass spiderweb to look through.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad of a crack, and it was only the screen protector that cracked, but STILL, this was the piss of the day that broke my seal.

To get some background, I am no stranger to cracks in my life. For some reason I attract them. Just one week earlier I turned in my old phone that had been severely cracked for over a year, both screen and protecter. I was just now getting used to the luxury of having a smooth, bright, crackless, and happy full iPhone screen. I currently have a crack in my car windshield that over 3 years has been annoyingly extending right into my sightline. I graduated college with a laptop that survived falling off my couch onto a wood floor—surviving meaning it worked but a ginormous crack spread over it. I was an advertising design major, and every graphic design I turned in was created through a glass spiderweb.

So, as you can see, I am FED UP with having cracks in my life, in my sight, and under my fingertips.

But, this whole crack thing got me thinking.

Cracks happen.

And yeah, they become something we always have to look past, an annoyance that we deal with. But, eventually you don’t notice them anymore. You learn to live with the cracks. Hell, maybe the cracks made me a better designer, you know, gave me a keener eye…Ha. Ha.

It just goes to show that events that happen to us may seem like a big deal initially. It might even feel like the end of the world. But, as proof of you living, life goes on. The cracks of life are still there, but your human strength to focus on the more important things, like the road in front of you, give you the edge you need to get through.