We sit together, but alone…. the modern coffee house generation. Listening to the Ramones, sipping our caramel drizzled, atop whip-creamed, hazlenut latte’s or our freshly juiced mixtures of kale, beets, ginger, spinach, and apples in a plastic cup with a lid and a straw. A healthy blend that says, “We can suck our juice and pulp as much as our part-time cigarette addiction in order to break even. Hail the kings and queens of smoke and veggies!”
Everyone in the room in good company, akin to their friends, the laptop, the ipad, and of course some variation of the pocket phone. Technology… it’s everywhere, inescapable, and without it, you can just consider yourself obsolete. The coffee house of today, a shell of what it was in the Sixties. The smoke-filled, beatnik, poetry-reading, finger-snapping kids that gathered in these underground places to contemplate change and revolution.
Are we posers to our parents, the baby-boomer generation that defined that era? Both my own parents a product of that turbulent past… one a drum-playing rocker and the other a raw politically charged left-winger. The same breed of greats as Dylan, Baez, The Stones, Joplin and Hendrix. And yet we sit on our wooden stools and thrifty vintage couches and connect to a device instead of each other. A potentially manufactured product, the babes of corporate america and technological ego. Our voices on blogs that connect us on a potentially global scale but not inside the coffee house we relax in. Who will listen? Who will hear us? How will our thoughts become tangible and pay our bills?
Now the Sex Pistols play… a perfect soundtrack to my sudden anxiety and angst. “Hey barista (he looks the ripe young age of 21), do you know who these guys are?” I say cynically. He simultaneously makes a cinnamon chai-latte and rattles off nonchalantly, “Yea but I tend to only like a few songs by the Pistols…. I am more of a a fan of The Clash, Dead Boys, Iggy and the Stooges, Television and early Cure.” ….. “Oh well shit”, I feel a sense of relief. The great evolving barometer of reminiscence amidst change knocks me right in the head.