As we speak, I’m sitting inside a quaint little coffee shop called the Mockingbird Cafe in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Before a few hours ago, I never heard of Bay St. Louis or the Mockingbird Cafe. I certainly didn’t know there was a coffee shop here, or that it’d feature cool paintings of superheroes, like these …
I love coffee shops. Starbucks are fine, but I’m more into independent ones with their own little idiosyncrasies. Different drink mixes. A barista with 101 donkey tattoos. Funky music. Fans on the ceiling. Unique chairs. I love the illusion of social interaction, which isn’t always an illusion. I’ve had some amazing conversations in coffee shops, oftentimes with other writers struggling through projects and procrastinating through life. There’s a bond in coffee shops. Not among patrons merely seeking out java, but the regular denizens, who call such places their second home.
Here in Mississippi, I stand out as a fast-talking New Yorker with liberal beliefs and a Jewish star dangling from his neck. Inside the cocoon of the coffee shop, however, I fit perfectly in.