Since the pandemic, I haven’t written much in cafes, at least not as much as I used to in grad school and during my first job. The reason was to make sure that I was doing my part in staying at home and not spreading a virus. Reading the news was terrifying, and I began questioning as Nanowrimo liaison when to go back to in-person or hybrid sessions. The answer is still ambiguous to me, since I’m not sure how to ask about ventilation or encouraging mask policies.
The Internet is out at home apparently, so I came to write today at the Panera where we used to have weekly sprinting sessions at Nanowrimo. No one else is here, just me, so it feels like the times when I would come and no one else was able to make it for in-person. A mask is in my pocket, so that I can wear it if needed. Not many stores sell masks these days.
What does it feel like? Stepping back in time. I remember talking with several friends, admiring some of their crochet work, and laughing about nerd stuff. In some cases, we even argued playfully about the shows or games that we liked. I would also ask for advice on workshops and which ones were worth the application fee.
The table arrangements are the same. I can sit by the window and people-watch. The menu hasn’t changed that much, and I can drink some hot chocolate. Writing requires tuning out the same distractions, and choosing your topic. I have posted an article for Father’s Day, sent some important emails, and met my writing goals. Fiction is not on the docket, but blogs are.
It’s good to be back. Still, I hope to return under more fortunate circumstances. That is, with the Internet working at home.