Sunday Seen & Heard 3.20.22

On Sunday mornings, I try to get up early and post up in a neighborhood coffee shop for writing practice. I read a chapter of Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life and spend 10 uninterrupted minutes capturing my surroundings.


A woman in a blue coat walks a dog. I don’t know breeds, but it’s big and its rain-matted fur is golden. We’ll call it a golden retriever. It’s silent in Biggby Coffee. Though the two baristas chatter and Latin music hums in the background, the shop is absent of life, just as Shaker Square is on this gray and rainy first day of Spring. It’s a cruel trick. Winter left Northeast Ohio with a week of sunny 70-degree days only to storm back in just as the calendar announced the change of seasons. Spring, you say? How about temps in the forties. Rain, with a chance of snow. And no sun to speak of. 

My tolerance for cruelty starts with Cleveland weather. 

Biggby Coffee wants to be cheerful. Its menus are a bright, clean white with orange and blue print. The black chalkboards are decorated in neon chalk — I believe I’m looking at a neon green drawing of a muffin? Red, blue, green, and yellow coffee cups adorn the windows in vibrant glass paint. Along with confetti. I want to believe they bring life to this dying corner as much as they do. Perhaps the return of the Saturday Farmer’s Market in May will make it easier to believe.

But this place isn’t without its regulars. Barista One greets a man, short of stature in a brown Sherling coat and khaki pants, as he approaches the counter for his usual macchiato. Later, two workers in caution yellow vests, maintenance for some of the neighborhood apartments, stop in on their way to work. The lady worker describes it as a “light” day. She only has to post three-day eviction notices before calling it a day. 

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a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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