You've seen the bumper stickers: "I'd rather be skiing" or "I'd rather be sky-diving." I've never seen one that says, "I'd rather be just staring into space," but that would be mine.
Except I would never put a bumper sticker on my car because they always make me think: Who cares? Kind of like on Facebook where every time you log in, it asks you, What's on your mind? Like anyone cares. Maybe I'm too antisocial for social networking. Nonetheless I'll continue on here even though maybe no one will care to read!
I am not too antisocial to crave human companionship when I've been working alone all morning so I took a break from the Danville Express office (in the Village Shopping Center, where McCaulou's is located) and walked to Peet's. This chilly weather put me in the mood for a pumpkin latte, which I remembered from last fall as being dee-licious.
Am I an old fuddy-duddy or is $3.20 too much to pay for a latte? Plus I had to pay "real" money. That means bills from my wallet rather than coins from a little coin purse I keep in the car with quarters for parking meters and coffee. But my car is being serviced today so I was without the handy coin purse that convinces me I'm not really spending too much money on a latte.
Peet's was relatively empty in the early afternoon so I sat in the table against the far wall that was formerly known as "Phil's table" because that is where artist and free spirit Phil Hellsten started off every day until he suddenly died in June from heart problems. There was a photo of him by the table after he passed away but now it's gone. So I sat there, a great seat with a sweeping view of the coffee house. No wonder he liked it.
I had a book with me because really I'd rather read a book than stare into space and I tremendously enjoyed reading and sipping my pumpkin latte. I also liked watching the people as they came in. There were two mothers with young children, which started a string of memories that could have lasted through several lattes (were I to be so extravagant).
Then I noticed a woman opening a bouquet of red roses and white baby's breath flowers. She separated a small portion and put it into a large paper cup and approached my table.
"I'm just going to put these flowers here," she said. "This was Phil's table."
It turned out she lives in Grass Valley and had met Phil briefly. She only heard recently that he had died and felt she wanted to do something. So she left the small bouquet with a card to him. And I told her about art galleries where she could meet friends of Phil's, and she headed out.
My latte consumed, I headed back to the office.