Welcome to the Phoenix, the hub for hipsters, learners and musicians. Tastefully hidden in the city’s downtown corner it attracts the curious and ferociously unique. The sent of coffee floats through the air with subtle hints of alcohol-bought amusement. We walk in and take in our new favorite spot.
Glancing around the shop we see handlebar mustaches, first dates by the fireplace and books recreating the Tower of Babel. Live music greets our ears and tempts the crowd to stay longer and no one objects.
This place has stories intertwined into every detail of it. The trimmings carry heartbreak while the floors hold record of adventures. Desperately clinging to the ceiling for safety, eccentric lamps brighten the room like an army of fireflies in the summer. The lights make her eyes shine while he takes in her ability to be oblivious to her own uniqueness. They are learning the others dreams and fears. Maybe we can check back into their story someday to see how it turned out. Meanwhile the man across the room is searching for security through knowledge. I can see that by his mountain of hardbacks and the ever present crease between his eyebrows. Straining to understand success, he flips the books closed and stares off into space to read his own story for a while.
Sitting here I see so many lives moving past each other but in this moment we all stop at the same oasis, and teach the other how to live.
He’s sweet and I like the way he smiles. His stories are accompanied by pictures from his phone and his jokes keep coming effortlessly. Who would’ve guessed we would be out until 2 am. But hey, we wear the night well.
The barista looks to be in his zone. Order after order, he quickly fills the once empty counter with drinks of all kinds.
2 Cafe Mochas.
1 Black coffee.
Each cup makes a cameo in the story of our lives tonight, I’m hopeful that they will live to see the sunlight in the morning.
A middle-age foursome walks in and I can’t help but wonder if we make them feel outdated. Our ombré hair, gauges and tattoos really do carve a line between the generations. They order drinks and fade into their seats, they comfortably chat about life as we young-ins plan rebellions and revolutions.
The sun is long gone but the deep sky offers the perfect curtain behind those windowed walls. The night makes everything seem so much brighter, richer with opportunity, when you compare it to the darkness that becomes our temporary neighbor.
Amid swapping stories we share our drinks so that we can tell our journals that we tried something new.
In comes another group of mess-makers like ourselves, and with them they bring a new wave of energy. They linger by the bar in hopes of nabbing the first open table but they fill their weight time with close conversations that eventually explode into reminiscent laughter.
Fighting to keep the flame lit the couple near the door talk through some disagreement that was born to them on the car ride here. By his body language I can tell he is the one who should offer the apology as he reaches for her hand from across the table. She unfolds her arms that created a barrier to accept his words, and their hands find solace in the warmth of the other’s.
Although my mind is wandering like ghost through the lives of these nomads at the Phoenix, I’m entirely wrapped into conversation with this guy sitting across from me.
Getting to know someone is easily the most natural thing.
Questions and answers follow each other hand-in-hand like school children in the halls.
Family, friends, food and faith.
He keeps me on the edge of my seat. I can’t help but let my intuition take over. He’s protective and confident.
Maybe we will blend like the cream in the coffee.
Maybe we will chase the future.
But for now, the Phoenix will be the starting point, the finish line lies beyond the hill.