The Portland Diaries, Part 1.5

I should be back at the apartment writing The Great American Something right now, but instead I’m in a coffee shop writing yet another blog post. Actual conversation overheard a few minutes ago:

Customer asks what kombucha is. Man and woman behind the counter take turns trying to answer.

It’s…uh….it’s this stuff–

It’s alive, kind of.

Yeah, no, it is alive.  It’s got these things–

They’re supposed to be good for you.

Yeah, they’re like these things that are alive–or really, there’s this one thing–

It’s kind of gross, actually.

Oh, well–yeah, it is kind of.  It’s called the mother, and it lives in–

Well, not in the bottle.  We have the bottled kind.

Oh yeah, the mother’s not in the bottle.

It’s sort of like vinegar, only fizzy, and not–

It’s more like yogurt. I mean, it’s got these living–

It’s very cleansing. It’s something you drink when you need to cleanse.

It’s actually fermented. Like, not alcoholic, really, but it is actually fermenting.

It kind of makes your head go whooosh–

Yeah, it sort of clears you out, and you go, whoa.

I haven’t had one in a while. I should have one.  I think I’ll have one today.

It’s good for you.

You should have one.  You need one.  I need one too.

(Customer decides to have one.)

Good.  You’ll be really glad.

They come in all these colors.  Look how amazing that green is when you hold it up to the light.  Look, I’m going to hold it up–

I am not here to jot down overheard conversations, although that would be a very writerly thing to do–I’m actually here to draw.  Homework for drawing class is to go sit somewhere and do 10 or 20 “gesture drawings”–very quick sketches aimed at just catching a gesture or getting things in place.   So I sat in the corner and drew everybody who came up to the counter for their coffee–or kombucha. (The drawings look like crap, so I’m not going to show them to you. They’re supposed to look like crap, so that’s okay, but I’m still not showing them to you.)

I have totally regressed to my college days.  The only time I sit in a coffee shop and do nothing anymore is when I’m stuck in an airport.

I swear this place is playing my seventies Pandora station. I would just like to say for the record that I started listening to soft rock hits from the seventies during the actual seventies and just never stopped.  I love Hall and Oates and Gerry Rafferty in a completely non-ironic way.  I’m not sure I can say the same of the Kombucha Twins.

Hey, the sun is out!  I’m gonna go check that out.