Stress about work, life, the state of the world all got me feeling like I'm carrying around a backpack full of wet towels. The little things seem big and the big things seem unbearable.
One little thing I'm taking pleasure from right now is being a regular.
I'm familiar at a few coffee shops around town. There's of course the undeniable pleasure of not having to place an order. But there's also the chit-chat, the confidences, the catching-up.
The day after the election shat out its final turd (or did it?), I limped into the coffee place near work. The barista proudly wore a t-shirt depicting her native Switzerland. She offered sympathy along with my coffee and bagel. The next guy in line said he was Canadian and would take any of us who wanted to leave.
Most weekends I pop into a Fremont spot, where the morning barista is also a video stylist for a major Seattle rapper. I look forward to her hairstyle, her clothes, her attitude, her stories--including rocking at a metal show in Tacoma with her brother, and how a colleague came in to work on no sleep and a lot of whisky (our conclusion: keep rolling with whisky, or complete hydration/catnap therapy).
I have good friends and family and this extended circle of welcoming establishments is a salve, a tonic, a haven. It feels good.