Moving, Roommate and Coffee Store Stories.

Everything changes. Nothings stands still. I have moved so many times in my life  that I can pack an entire house into boxes with a smart, efficient system within a very short period of time. My moving-highlight and easiest move “accumulated items-wise” is still from Munich to NYC; the “the city that never sleeps” even though I found that I actually did sleep quite well in Midtown Manhattan. I also lived in New Jersey (sigh!) which is a whole other chapter and story on its own. One gets used to anything? In any case, I moved again, and again, and again. All the way to Canada. 

I have to add that there was also a short time in my life when I used to live with a “roommate” who let me stay at her place. There are always compromises to be made which has its good and bad sides. For example my roommate used to go to bed very early while I am a night owl and my writing “process” usually takes place while staring at a blank word document and waiting for the words and sentences to pop up magically. In the meantime I might drink a glass of wine or two (for inspiration) or eat some dry Captain Crunch cereal by the handful. This for some reason did not work out with my roommate so our ways parted. Before we parted I thought I am able to write and work at a coffee shop since there were quite some nice cozy, relaxing ones around where she lived. But for some reason, writing at a coffee shop never works out for me. 

My attempt to write at coffee shops: I do love Starbucks’ lattes but even with headphones on, I cannot concentrate. There is just so much going on. There is people watching and glancing around wondering what this and that person is working on. I live close to a university so this blue haired girl with her beige cotton pants, tattooed arms and green Greenpeace T-shirt saying “we are all equal” is definitely writing her “term paper on indigenous rights”. I also looked at my “emergency book” that I always carry around just in case. This is the book I read when I have writer’s block while my laptop is seemingly frozen on a blank white word document with the cursor sadly but continuously blinking.

I am on my second cup of grande latte at this point when I pack up all my things because I need to pee. I don’t want anyone to walk out with my laptop but I also have no clue about Starbucks/coffee shop etiquette. I know I won’t trust the guy who is first of all using my outlet to charge his phone and curses the entire time two meters next to me. He types aggressively now (while still cursing) so I won’t ask him to watch or keep an eye on my computer while I am at the restroom for three minutes (two minutes according to my brother!). Is there a moral obligation? I am an anxious, traumatized  PTSD person in general so would I trust anyway taking care of my laptop, my latte or my handbag? Most likely not. 

What’s with people hogging the outlets at coffee shops anyway? They come over and crawl around between my legs to plug-in their cable (sounds weird, I know) without even saying one word. Now I am in this dilemma. I had way too much coffee, I need to pee and I don’t trust anyone to keep an eye on my things. So I take everything with me. The cord dangling from my shoulder, everything else stuffed loosely in my pocketbook while I try to balance my latte cup (grande) to the bathroom like a trophy fumbling for my phone to check if I put in my jeans pocket or if I left it on the table. 

“Where do I put everything now”, I ask myself while looking for a hook on the door to at least put my handbag. I know deep inside that someone took over my awesome table and outlet already. I finish what I needed to do at the bathroom and head back out to the café. I see a guy placing his unpronounceable giant fancy coffee (I understand dark roast but I am rather irritated and confused by most of the coffee combinations and creations they offer) a blueberry muffin and a cake pop (?) nicely, artfully  arranged on “my” table to just instagram it. 

Long story short, having my own place to write and work is awesome, salient and necessary. Moving again will be fun and exciting. I enjoy moving. I can declutter, minimize and rearrange again which is good. 

Also, roommates are okay if you are like 20-something and in college. Moving out and breaking up with someone who doesn’t have his own checking account by the time he is 30 or 40 is only reasonable and necessary. Nobody wants to really live with someone who occasionally gets arrested for X, Y or Z and is brought home by an officer who drives as slowly as if he is in a parade all the way to the front of your house for the neighbours to see who might be sitting in the backseat. 

Moving does not wipe away all the problems but new destinations are great and usually improve or change aspects of my life. I am not sad or anxious about the move. I just do it. Or as my son said the other day, “I am done here”. 

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