Happiness Is…

Charlie BrownOkay, maybe it’s just that I’ve been alone with Cole for about a week solid during which I’ve had almost no time to myself, perhaps it’s the fact that I’m up before 6am for the first time in a long time (my favourite time of day), but I’m feeling like Charlie Brown right now at one of his rare moments of total elation.

I’m in a café on Lonsdale Avenue, sipping a superb Americano, munching on a brilliant walnut zucchini bran muffin, watching the flow of traffic grow on the street outside as people fumble their way out to their cars and head off to work. There’s free wifi, other laptop users (so I’m not sticking out like The Geek), and I’ve got The Plastic Constellations cranked on my iPod.

(How did I manage this moment of bliss, you might ask? Cindy came in last night from Ottawa and she and Cole are still crashed out.)

Now, this sort of scene would be possible in my hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon, except for one important element (other than free wifi): anonymity. If I were kicking in, say, the Bakerei on Main St., social interruptions would be constant. In a small town, there’s always somebody you know walking through the door, interrupting your train of thought or moment of musical enjoyment with a friendly hello and five seconds of meaningless small talk.

Here in the bustling metropolis it’s easy to fade into the woodwork when you feel like it and become just another schmuck with a laptop in a coffee shop. And, sometimes, anonymity an important aspect of modern existence. Sometimes just merging with the world’s mis en scene is a valuable method of survival.

So, as Charlie Brown would say: “Happiness is being unknown in a public place for a little while.”

One thought on “Happiness Is…

  1. Yep, that type of opportunity will never make itself available in Whitehorse. Granted, you may get 15 minutes of peace, but that’s about the max.

    Personally, I like making small talk and chatting it up with folks. Nonetheless, it can be overwhelming if you never get a break from the social rhythm.

    What I really love about visting down south is the many chances for good ol’ fashioned people-watching.

    Buy a coffee from a jockey you don’t know by name, plug into your iPod and pretend to read a magazine. All the while you get to watch people drift in and out of your little world as they go about their daily lives. It’s a surreal experience.

    You don’t get that type of situation in Whitehorse, because envitably you end up making contact with somebody 🙂

Comments are closed.