There's a coffeeshop in the small town in which I currently reside.
People are all about Starbucks these days, the overpriced green logo that decorates a five-dollar cup of coffee, the new drive-through windows from which you can order your caramel macchiato or peppermint frappuccino or whatever the hell sugary, fruity, festive flavor draws the masses the most.
I'm not talking about that kind of coffeeshop, the kind that smells like coffee but feels like money. This one is nothing like that.
This one has a tiny stage, large enough to fit three performers standing up, at most, and a chess table in the back. This one has Christmas lights strung up, whether it's Christmas or not. This one has ripped couches, a broken typewriter on a shelf, an unused piano in the corner, still-life paintings on the wall, and books everywhere.
I've been to lots of cafes. Cafes in Paris outdoors, cafes in Germany overlooking the city. But still none can compare to this small coffeeshop out in the middle of nowhere, America.
I took my schoolbooks there, ordered a coffee-of-the-day with a side of espresso beans, and found a seat in the corner. A dressed-up couple was playing a pre-prom game of chess and being taught tips by a seven-year old.
Old people, young people, dates, friends, in, out, in, out. The place was alive with a sense of vigorous vitality, but at the same time, a woman sat silently in the corner typing out emails. The chocolate coated espresso beans. Bitter coffee and sugar. A balance that can only be experienced alone at night.
A small oasis amidst a violently sinking shoreline.
I'm not sure what it was, but somehow tonight, with the sound of grinding coffee beans over the indie music playing overhead and sitting on a cool chair in a warm room, it felt like summer.
Glamour doesn't only exist in a big city; you don't have to climb a mountain to see beauty. Class can be found outside the soirees of Paris and the stages of Broadway.
It was all there, sitting at my table on a high, wooden chair at the coffeeshop at ten at night.