Over the past few weeks, I have been going to the local Starbucks on a fairly consistent basis. Given that I have been stopping by for a drink quite often, I have become quite friendly with the majority of the employees. I enter the shop, order, then joke around with these people as they make my drink. To be completely candid, it is a bright part of my day. On my off days, I bring my computer and work on my stories. Sometimes employees on break will sit and talk with me for their short time.
This coffee shop experience is comparable to the endeavor of the writer. The journey of the writer takes place when one enters the “Eternal Cafe.”
The Eternal Cafe, however, is not a place one can reach on foot or by car. The Eternal Cafe is a state of mind. It is the mentality of the writer as he attempts to transcribe the words of the World. He enters the Cafe, and around him are people. They are but faceless phantoms, mixtures, entering and exiting the ethereal terminal. These phantoms will not speak unless the writer speaks first, but their faces appear, ever there, in his peripherals.
They all have a story to tell——but he lacks the time to tell them all.
The baristas work behind the bar, and the writer talks to them. As they converse, they tell the writer a story:
They give him a hint.
These ghosts——these spirits——are what we call “characters.”
They embody us. They embody others. They embody themes.
They are the creations of our mind, molded from the World around us.
And that is what the writer has done, for the Eternal Cafe is but the sentience of the writer; it is his vigilance——his watchful eye. He is aware and catches the spirits as they go by; he is unaware and bumps into them. Some take hold and become people he knows quite well (if not completely), and some disappear——lost between the chasms of his mind, swept away by the muses.
The Eternal Cafe has only one table. One seat: The writer’s inevitable destination.
He sits at the table.
Beside him, is the Self: his heart, mind, soul, spirit. And, sitting lazily in front of him is the World——not the World as he sees it, but rather the World as it truly is. The conversation he has with this entity (whether we call it God or the Universe or whichever) is the essence of all true writing.
It is the purest form a writer can embody.
The Eternal Cafe has a plethora of entrances, each with a myriad of signs pointing us toward its doors. The World is ever before us; the phantoms ever walk our minds. We, as writers, must learn to perceive these things. For the single table beckons us, and the World has much to say.