I’m in New Haven this morning. I’ve been driving Chris back and forth to work in New Haven for the last week and a half, but this morning I’m actually staying here for a little while. I was waiting to hear if I needed to drive him out to the field, or if he would be in the office and I could go home, so I parked myself at Starbuck’s so I could get online and, more importantly, eat Madeleines. I have to say, cities are a wealth of weird. Not that out in the country we don’t have our fair share of oddities, but they’re spread out and therefore less obvious. But in the city, they are plainly visible. I’m not talking about the homeless guys in the Starbuck’s having their morning coffees and discussing their shelter or other living conditions, or the plethora of businessmen and women hurrying to their jobs so they can grab coffee and go out for a cigarette before their day starts.
I’m talking more about the animated conversations on the sidewalk that include only one person, and not with a cell phone. The two men who walked around the corner, then back four times before deciding which direction they were headed. The sheer number of people who appear to be just hanging around with no particular place to be. The guy across the street selling balloons and knock-off designer handbags. The tattoo parlor down the street whose most prominent window sign reads “NO kids!!!” I realize that this is just the norm here, but I don’t come to New Haven all that often so it always takes me a few minutes to acclimate.
Of course, there are always things that can be depended on anywhere. There is ALWAYS a Starbuck’s. My favorite wifi zone. I can’t drink their coffee because the acid level in it makes my stomach feel like I’ve swallowed Drano, but there is always something for me to have along with my Madeleines. Today, I’m working my way through a tall strawberries and cream Creme. It’s pretty good, and I can pretend it’s healthy.
Next I’ll be heading home to shower and change, then back here for Chris, then off to a wake for Chris’s friend’s father. Then back to pick up the baby at her grandparents’ house, and finally home for the night. One thing I have discovered over the past week and a half: I could never be a chauffeur. Being on the road this much requires MASSIVE amounts of caffeine just to stay awake and on the road. Apparently I haven’t changed all that much from the kid who fell asleep five minutes into any drive. So if you’re on the highways in Connecticut this week, watch out!