Before the Coronavirus struck, I used to love to go to coffee shops or diners and write with a decent pen into a spiral notebook. I have a few dozens of these on my library shelves, where I would come up with an idea while out running errands and then go buy a notebook (I always carried a pen with me to jot ideas down on napkins, etc.) and then head to a coffee shop. As for my beverage of choice at moments like this, I normally imbibe basic American coffee, black, or unsweet iced tea. Even when I go to Starbuck’s (or went to Starbucks during the pre-coronavirus days), I would often order just their café Americano, black. Occasionally, I might order a vanilla latte. If I felt like living a bit of a life of luxury, I would order an Irish cream breve. All of these would usually be in the (euphemistically termed) tall or grande sizes.
I put this ambience video on to listen to while I work this afternoon. It is supposed to be the Double R diner from the 80’s TV series Twin Peaks. Looking at this, I became nostalgic and wished I could find a place like this again. This diner is straight from the 80’s and is a place I would love to sit with a notebook and spend an afternoon, and maybe even into the evening, scribbling down ideas as fast they come. Usually, when I am writing a scene, it’s like a movie is playing in my head and I am just noting down everything I see as fast as I can. I can even envision the dialogue between people and what is going on inside their heads to make them say what they say. It’s a very enjoyable process. I can become totally immersed in it for a while and therefore it is great for relieving stress, tension, anxiety, what have you. Just being in a place like this once again would be a bit of paradise for me again.
Just look at the place in detail. It has the old-style, Naugahyde bench seats. On the table closest is a slice of cherry pie, which Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle McLachlan) used to eat at the end of an episode. There is also an old style tape recorder with a cassette in it and an old style hotel key, which was used before key cards made their debut. In the front booth and to the reader’s right are the traditional mustard and ketchup bottles, a sugar dispenser, salt and pepper shakers, and a worn menu. In the very back under the plate glass window and to the left is an actual jukebox. The slow, soft jazz playing is perfect for a setting like this. I have been in many, many places like this across the US. In the back of the front booth and on a shelf is an ash tray with a burning cigarette in it. Although a lot of people hate tobacco smoke, I would love to smell it in restaurants and bars again.
Hopefully, before long, this pandemic will be over and we can once again pack places such as this and not even wear a mask.