Yesterday evening at Intelligista, a happening coffee shop in Silverlake, I sat drinking my decaf machiatto. I'm a light weight when it comes to caffeine, not wanting to ignite the anxiety flames. Observing the crowd, I practiced simply observing and not judging. The young pierced and tattooed threesome were laughing and talking in a loud tone at the table in the corner. They were certainly getting attention. The brooding, rugged hiker in the corner read his magazine, daring anyone to look at him, but desperately wanting people to look at him. A beautiful Latin couple kissed and fondled each other two tables over from me, while the Asian man discussed the fashion business with a statuesque and stunning blond female at the table behind me. Puffy and almost unrecognizable from either too many injections or botched surgery, the movie star moved her hands like a passionate conductor when conversing with her scruffy male companion. After observing these people for a few minutes, I was able to come back to myself and just be. Then my challenge appeared. Incredibly thin and with her hair pulled back in a tight bun, she sat at the table in front of me. The perfect bone structure of her face screamed "I'm a model." Her nationality was disguised, the almond-shaped brown eyes with the sheen and slate-colored hair could have made her Eastern European, Latin, Asian, or American. She sipped her coffee, as she stared at the large muffin on the plate in front of her. After what seemed like ten minutes of her having an out of body experience or being in a catatonic trance, she carefully unfolded a napkin and gently wrapped the muffin. One by one, she took the other three napkins from the table and repeated the wrapping ritual. Once the muffin was covered to her satisfaction, she retrieved the cute, mid-sized, multi-colored vinyl purse from the chair next to her. Forcefully, she pushed the muffin into the purse. Naturally, being in L.A., I fell prey to thinking the obvious and stereotyping, assuming that she was either anorexic or bulimic, thinking that she was angry and resentful and the muffin was her drug. I quickly changed my mind, and then wondered if she had been praying over the muffin, asking God to make it be enough to feed the six orphans she had adopted from Bangladesh. Or, maybe she was a member of some fanatic group who rescued muffins from coffee shops, keeping them from the mouths of the evil muffin eaters. Just as I was getting lost in her world, ignoring my own, she got up from the table and walked off, leaving her full cup of steaming coffee. A part of me wanted to follow her to see where she went next and what she did with the muffin. However, another part of me, the better part of me, wanted to stay put and finish my delicious macchiato. Again, I'm practicing observing without making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. I'm not perfect yet, though.
How nice it was to get to the beach in 20 minutes. Sitting on the sand at Will Rogers State Park and watching the waves, I felt such a connection to L.A. I've heard all the reasons to not like L.A., but it was nice to experience ways that I could appreciate it. Except for few younger men who were playing volleyball about 500 feet, it was only the gulls, the ravens and me.
Dinner on the patio with Ann at King's Road, a small restaurant off Beverly, and I was amazed by the talent of the singers and musicians who were performing inside. Much like Eddie's Attic in Decatur, the audience was really listening and not talking. The patio crowd wasn't as respectful, though. The drunk guy, who was trying to get laid, accosted the hot ladies as they walked by, groping them, resulting in the sassy girl saying "Fucker," and the guy replying, "Snatch." Two other men, in between puffs of their cigarettes, cursed the entertainment industry. When I wasn't distracted by the wonderful music and the patio shenanigans, I stayed focused on my scrumptious fish tacos, one snapper and one lobster, and my interesting conversation with Ann.
It occurred to me before I went to sleep that I'd had a full day, a full day that I'd really loved. I'd been in nature, and I'd been among friends and fellow artists. I'd even managed to not let the nastiness and haughtiness of a few individuals get to me. Except for spending way too much time in the world of the woman who was consumed with stuffing a muffin, I'd made the day all about me.