Augie’s Coffee House

“I have been searching for this coffee shop for like 8 hours,” I say to the barista.  He looks at me with an expression of perplexed disbelief.  “I didn’t know it until five minutes ago,” I clarify.  “But this is exactly the kind of place I need right now.”

I am in Augie’s Coffee House with free wifi, tasteful wall art, and a foam heart etched into the surface of my vanilla latte.  I decided to leave Santa Monica and Southern California this afternoon after receiving two $53 parking tickets in the course of thirty minutes.  I actually went to the police station to beg for pity.  It was to no avail, though the girl guarding the Sears lot let me park for free while I tried.

I head south to Venice Beach.  I leave my car in an alleyway and climb over the canals until I reach the coast.  I kick off my shoes and walk barefoot across the sand to a pier of boulders, where I sit hugging my knees and allowing the ocean to slow my heart.

For New Years, I need to be somewhere quiet.  For the last months, years, I have been trying to learn how to listen to the messages within my body.  The loudness that Pascal pointed out when we reentered the urban environment is taking a toll on me.  I actually feel a pang of sadness every time I see a billboard trying to convince me that I am not ok the way I am.  How can we stand for this?  I love people; I’ve had so many moments over the past few days that have reaffirmed this love over and over again.  But sometimes, I hate what people do when we come together as society.  So I plan to end this year and begin my next far from the noise we have created.  I’m going somewhere quiet.  I began to drive east tonight as the sunset pooled above the mountains, a pink poke-a-hole-in-your-heart-and-let-the-blood-spill-out-across-the-sky kind of twilight.  Right now I’m in Augie’s Coffee House in Redlands, CA.  I don’t know where I will sleep tonight.  I head into the desert tomorrow morning.

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5 Responses to Augie’s Coffee House

  1. Kathi says:

    Dave, A sad commentary, but not surprising for So. Cal. Remember Northern Cal does love you and you loved it. There are many wonderful small towns outside the garish big city. You are more than ok the way you are….you are YOU! Embrace it and don’t change! Please stay safe as the storms are brewing.

    • Dave Korn says:

      =) Thank you Kathi… I do know this. And I love who I am. And I love many small towns and large cities alike… I just get sad when I really start to think about the messages we are all constantly bombarded with. Of course, my task is not to dwell on the negatives but find ways to embody the positives as best I can.
      I’ll stay safe, I promise.

  2. Charlie says:

    Funny, how the perspective of an outsider can be so enlightening (referring to Pascal’s European perspective on the noise and motives of urban America, of course).

    I’ve come to realize recently that, no matter how rational an argument may be, the counterargument can make just as much sense, and be equally enlightening. This both frustrates and bemuses me, in that order.

    This may be a poor example of that, but I would have done the opposite of what you decided to do. I wouldn’t have tried to get away from the noise – I would have further immersed myself in it. As sickening as the noise may be, it must also be motivating. I was in the Grove one Thursday this past semester, sober, tired, and feeling like being just about anywhere else. So I climbed up to this balcony and just watched people walking in the streets beneath me. I was so close to them – close enough to communicate while hardly raising my voice – but in a completely different world and mindset. My mood lifted and my mind churned with equal swiftness.

    Of course, there are certainly times when I, too, want to escape, and I do just that. Come to think of it, I can’t quite remember the purpose of this comment that I’m writing. Nonetheless, your post certainly got me thinking, as all your posts do.

    – Charlie

    • Dave Korn says:

      ha this is epic. yeah, it’s true. and sometimes i want to immerse myself more deeply as well. what is it that makes us want to do one or the other? convenience of circumstance? or are there just times when we need to retreat inwards, others when we need to go outwards?

  3. drea says:

    ❤ sendin you love

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