~ Sitting here at coffee this morning, a young woman came stumbling through the door of the cafe wearing gaudy high heels and last night’s party dress. Ten feet away from me she wreaked of alcohol, and after she got her coffee and plopped down in the seat next to me the alcohol stench was even worse.
“Excuse me, would you mind giving me some money for a taxi?” she asked
I stared at her in silence, and shifted my eyes onto her drink, somehow she didn’t notice the silliness of having just purchased a $5 coffee and then asking me for taxi money.
“Just use your credit card. Most taxis take card nowadays” I said
“That’s the problem, I lost my purse. I only had six dollars cuz I stole it off of the dresser of some guy’s bedroom this morning before I left” she said
I didn’t say anything
“Look, you can see how I’m dressed that I’m not some homeless bum, I just need money for a cab to get home. Won’t you help a woman in distress?” she said
“Why don’t you walk back to the guy’s house and ask him for taxi money?” I said
“Ugh! That would be too awkward, I don’t really know his name” she said
“But it’s not awkward to ask a stranger at coffee for money?” I said
“Why are you being so RUDE! DOESN’T ANYONE HAVE ANY DECENCY THESE DAYS!?” she yelled
And with that, she got up and walked over to three other tables of people asking for money, but was promptly turned away each time.
Occasionally I get emails from readers asking if the stories I share from coffee are real. As any of my friends who sit with me can vouch; they are all 100% real. Though I alter details at times, especially when it comes to personal stories that people share, to protect people’s privacy, each of the stories come straight from my table where I usually have a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
As Western Culture slowly fades into the distance with technology replacing real human interaction, the coffeehouse remains one of the last bastions of real connectivity for humans. While some people connect via church or synagogue, many people argue that five minute conversations after the service are not meaningful ways of connecting.
People are social creatures, it is in our nature to be with each other and share our lives, stories, and experiences. When we become secluded and cut off, we tend to adopt inhumane traits. As smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computer technology continues to transform our culture into a new way of life never before seen by any other society, one has to wonder what it will look like? What will life be like in the new world we are creating?
My little dystopian novel deals with this very subject; what will life look like when the Internet takes even more precedent in our lives and disconnects us from nature even more than we are already experiencing. To get a copy click on the link at the side of this page.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society