Just to sit and sip

Today I went to a coffee shop with my laptop to write.

There was just over a dozen customers in the cafe, some writing, studying, reading. Conversing. The usual, well-traversed cafe visitors.

One person stood out as I looked up in between paragraphs.

A man, likely in his 50s (though tough to ascertain on appearance alone). He wore a maroon t-shirt and cargo khaki pants. He sat alone at a table, had already been occupying it when I arrived, still there two hours later. He’d ordered and sipped at two different beverages in the time since I’d arrived.

He had not a book in hand, or a pen, or a phone or notebook. Nothing to read or write. No one sitting across to talk to.

Just stared straight ahead; occasionally sat with eyes closed, perhaps listening or meditating. I did not hear him speak to order his second drink.

There’s simple assumptions that I made: that he can hear, that he speaks English, that he prefers to be alone. That he likes people, that he likes coffee, that he is wealthy and spends all his days here. But these are all broad and based on personal experience and expectations, not on any gathered evidence or conversation.

Out of all of the customers in the cafe, this man stands out to me. Does that say more about me than him? That I found his sitting alone, without a book or a pen, to be interesting? How is that abnormal? Why do I think that is abnormal and not just, y’know, natural?

There are also judgments based on assumptions: that he is lonely, that he likes to be alone. But he’s also around people.

Perhaps he does live alone, but prefers to surround himself with people just to feel a part of things.

Or maybe he just likes the drinks and it doesn’t matter that he’s alone, not reading, not studying, not writing or doing a crossword puzzle.

Perhaps, to feel complete, he just likes to sit among people and feel the air tremor from the populace; for a short time every day recognizing that the society around him, the community, is family.

There’s a thousand reasons he could be sitting alone in a public cafe, and none of them really matter. This is just an observation of a person I found interesting as I was at the cafe today.

Perhaps he looked at me the same way: why does this guy sit with a computer, sipping coffee, instead of just sitting and watching, listening, learning. Why does this guy write out his thoughts instead of thinking about them?

Why does Joe not just sit and sip?

HWWT at Woods Hole Film Festival!!

Hey folks!

Below is all the info you’ll need to watch films at this years Woods Hole Film Festival, which has the honor being the setting for the World Premiere of “Have Wine, Will Travel”!

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The 29th Woods Hole Film Festival runs from July 25- Aug. 1, 2020.

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Tickets to individual screenings go on sale at 8:00 AM EDT on July 25. Our film screens during the “Hello, Stranger” Shorts program. (Click images for links.)Screen Shot 2020-07-18 at 2.16.17 PM

Once you have your ticket to that program, you can watch it on your own schedule during the 8 days of the festival.

 

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There are also options for day passes and full festival passes so you can watch panels and workshops and all sorts of great films – check out the program while you’re at the WHFF website

 

 

Finally, this Wednesday, July 22 at 10:00 AM EDT there’s a Filmmaker Chat with myself, Dawn Brodey, and Alisha Seaton, via the below links:

You can watch this chat LIVE on the Woods Hole Film Festival Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/woodsholefilmfestival/

And then later in the day or during the festival on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JZakfyRMLqmyf2lc7QpdQ/featured

 

See you soon!

 

The Fly in the Window

There’s a fly buzzing by the window

and only I can see it.

He’s a quick one zipping in circles.

I can feel his wings,

one flickering and fluttering harder than the other.

He touches down on the sill resting, perhaps,

or just waiting for the chance to leap up

and zig not zag into my eye for

a visit through my cornea and

a venture deep into my brain,

the buzzing, it grows and it hurts

and sings and stings when the fly

is inside of my brain. But I will not

let it get that far, not by the window.

I swat with a wafer thin towel,

but I miss. My palm slaps the glass.

The towel trembles, empty and sad while

the fly spirals high, smashing into the glass again and again

as though taunting my failure to connect,

and each bounce a threat to my corneas,

an invasion of my ears.

The fly continues to buzz inside my brain and

all I can hope is that soon others will here it, too.