I sit here writing, not daring to stop,
For fear of seeing what’s outside my head.
– Bob Kaufman, a surrealist poet belonging to the beat generation.
Kaufman penned these lines in form of a 34 part poem called, “Jail Poems”. Kaufman belonged to the Beat Generation of poets, one of my most recent of interests. When Kaufman came up with these lines, he was in fact a prisoner in a physical jail. Trapped by metal bars and watchful eyes, he was quite literally a prisoner.
Unlike Kaufman, I am writing in the comfort of a mellow coffee shop, with a cup of tea by my side. I am trapped by my thoughts and by the watchful eyes of curious souls. I am held captive, but not necessarily in a terrible way. You know? that made a lot more sense in my head, I promise. I’m typing away at my laptop, as the steady hum of casual conversation drifts about me. My friends often tease me and say that I’m always holed up in a coffee shop somewhere, scribbling away or typing away. I shrug, because it is true. My words are so jumbled and congested in my head that I absolutely have to let them out in some way or another. I’m afraid that I cannot do much other than write and write and write. I write because I must.
Writing gives me a clear picture of my thoughts and helps me to actually see my thoughts. It’s very therapeutic in a way.
There are many interesting people in the coffee shop at the moment, many pouring over books or homework. A group sits in the corner, conversing and laughing hardy laughs. The kind of laughs that make me think they’ve not see eachother in a very long while. An elderly man sits across from me in an armchair, reading a J.K. Rowling book. I smile quietly, as people come and go and I continue to sit at my lonely table with my laptop in front of me. I find that I like to observe and I like to understand. That may be largely due to the fact that I am a wildly introverted person, but I think it comes from my passion for understanding other humans. We aren’t much different than we think.
I adore my days writing in the coffee shop.