I am fortunate to work for myself. Sure, sometimes my boss can be a jerk, but for the most part I appreciate the freedom and lack of structure…not that I couldn’t use the discipline of structure from time to time.
I’m like a traveling minstrel, just without the musical talent. I like not being tethered to a physical office. (I pay for one, so I should probably use it more often. But it’s creatively uninspiring, other than the banter with the affable mensch next door. And It does give me a place for my stuff, which is a plus for two reasons: 1) I don’t clutter the house (my wife does not buy the creative chaos theory the way I do, respecting the value of being surrounded by a variety of books and papers and art and artifacts for inspiration); 2) whenever I say, “a place for my stuff,” I think of the brilliant George Carlin routine about the folly of acquisition in American society.)
One of the treats I give myself, not being office-bound, is patronizing coffeehouses. (Of course, by patronizing, I don’t mean speaking down to them. That would be patronizing.) Admittedly, often with the help of Yelp, I love to ‘discover’ unique, locally-owned spots with charm and personality reflecting the tastes and worldview of their owner—not Starbucks or Peet’s. This is my treat when I travel, and I like to do this when I’m home.
Today I find myself at “Here Comes the Sun” in Montara, Calif. between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. I love the North Peninsula coast south of San Francisco. It’s a beautiful Spring morning: low clouds but not rainy; cool, comfortable April weather. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised when they were playing Beatles music when I walked in, though I think that was just coincidental (and always welcome anyway). The Yelp reviews show photos of smiling customers and people behind the counter who I now realize are the owners. The vibe rings true. Very low-key, Northern California Beach feel. Genuine smiles and an embracing-of-life attitude. Fellow customers seem happy and relaxed. Amber is lovely and grateful for our patronage—a mix of regulars and PCH passers-by like me. A customer name Cody picks up a guitar and starts strumming. There’s no pretense here. Just people living life. I wonder about how much more mellow I might have been growing up had I been exposed to coastal California. But I can’t go back in time, so I simply embrace the adagio heartbeat of this quaint venue.