Sunday, April 17, 2011

So Close

Today I headed west to Lakewood (again), but this time to the Beck Cafe.  This particular coffee shop has been recommended to me several times, and while I was just in Lakewood last week, I was happy to come this direction again.  I really wasn't sure where I was taking my talents this week, so when I saw on facebook that my acquaintance Jim Snively was scheduled to play at the Beck Cafe this afternoon, I figured why not (and Jim mentioned that the barista, Troy makes the best lattes... I can only hope Troy is attractive as well).
I walk in during Jim's sound check.  The atmosphere is incredibly quaint and inviting.  There's beautiful artwork from local artists (all for sale), and a lovely-sounding water feature on the wall  (I think there's also some kind of water feature on the floor, but I didn't take too much time to look into it).  Troy is cute; tall and fair-skinned, with a nice smile and outgoing demeanor.  He's also probably only twenty five, however.  I order my usual (for the boys and girls following along at home, that would be a non-fat caramel latte).  Sadly, Troy informs me that they only have 2% or soy.  Soy creeps me out, so I obviously choose 2%.  While making my drink, he starts fumbling down the leg of his jeans and I say, "What's going on down there?" Troy laughs and says that there's apparently a hole in the inside of his pocket and his phone has begun sliding down his leg.  Sure there is.  I then hear from the stage area "Hi Sarah!" and it's Jim, completing his sound check and getting ready to rock.  He then says "New hairstyle?"  I laugh because I've only met Jim once and I can't believe he's noticed the difference.  "Looks nice," he says.  I thank him for noticing.
Jim is joined today by a fellow artist, "Doc Z" on the violin. The first song they perform is called "Drinking My Coffee Alone.”  It is excellent and could easily become the theme song for this blog.
Patrons are coming in and out ordering coffee and hitting the road.  I wish more people were here to appreciate our local talent like Jim and Doc.  Jim’s music details his experiences and events that happened in our nation throughout his life (and earlier).  I learned through his songs that he was in the National Guard during the Kent State shootings... “Oh how we’ve changed from before… forever more.”  Thanks Jim and Doc, for helping me remember just how well music can capture the essence of storytelling like no other medium.
Doc is amazing on the violin.  He plays and I get lost.  It almost brings tears to my eyes.  There are times you'd swear you’re hearing two or three violins playing in unison.  Awe-mazing.
While taking a break, Jim and Doc sit with me for a bit to chat.  I hear Doc also strike up a conversation with a gentlemen sitting at the table behind me.  I'm usually far more observant than this - I didn't know there was a guy sitting behind me!  Doc asks what he's studying, and I hear him respond that he's obtaining an advanced degree in microbiology.  Clearly he's smart and now I wonder what he looks like.  I glance behind me... yup... cute with a nice smile!  Jim and Doc decide to end their break and head up towards the stage area.  I figure 'screw it.'  I turn around and say, "Microbiology huh?  Sounds like fun."  He smiles (nice teeth) and says, "Yeah, it is.  What are you working on?" and nods toward my netbook.  I tell him that since I took off work on Friday, I'm checking my email so I can minimize any potential shit storm I might walk into tomorrow morning.  He laughs and says, "I see (smile).  I'm Norm, by the way," and extends his hand.  (Oh... my... gawd... IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?).  I'm smiling and I'm interested.  "I'm Sarah," I say.  "Nice to meet you."  "You too," he replies.  I tell him I'll let him get back to studying and turn back around.  This might not have been the right move, however.  But I'm cought off guard here, so in my defense, I really wasn't sure what to say next.
I continue watching Jim and Doc and notice a young guy walk slowly past the window yawning.  However this is the longest yawn I've ever witnessed.  He's still walking with his mouth excessively WIDE open.  Perhaps this isn't a yawn after all.  Perhaps he has a horrible TMJ condition.  Just in case he does, I stop looking.  I'm not completely heartless.  But I am concerned he's going to swallow some bugs out there.
Jim and Doc eventually wrap up their set.  Doc comes over to shake my hand and says he hopes to see me again (me too Doc - you're awesome).  Then I walk up to Jim to tell him he played a great set today.  He thanks me for coming and gives me a wonderful compliment (thanks Jim - you're sweet).  I gather my things to leave, hoping Norm will engage me further in conversation so I don't walk out the door and out of his life forever.  I look at him, smile my best smile, and say "Nice meeting you Norm.  Have a good day."  "You too," he replies with an equally nice smile.  I can't linger here so I begin to leave.  WTF?  That's it?  Damnit... so close.  Oh well... it was a fun, albeit short, ego boost.  So, I'll take it.  I thank Troy on my way out and head home.
I think for my next post I'll either stay East or head South... though I'm sure the entertainment won't be nearly as good.

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