“I’m Nobody, Who are You?” From a Coffee House View

Slice of Life 2019: Day 12

I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)

Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog – 
To tell one’s name – the livelong June – 
To an admiring Bog!

When I get to the coffee shop for my weekly tea and writing session, I am a happy woman. There are lap tops everywhere, dogs, people talking in muffled voices. Two men behind me are discussing their life in medical school; another group to my right is planning a new business. There is a man that looks like Dustin Hoffman across from me working a spreadsheet on a Dell. There are no kids today.

My husband asks me, “Why do you go to the coffee shop to work?”

This is a reasonable question. My office is at home with books and food and free tea. But, there’s also a sink of dirty dishes and a stack of bills. When I’m at home, I share mental time with those pressing issues.

When I am here, I am nobody. Nobody is asking me to wash a dish or make a lunch or fold a towel. In this place I am obscure, one of many happy laptop operators and tea drinkers. As such, I can observe and think and breathe.


Don’t tell anyone.

“How public — like a Frog –“

When familiar people find me here, I become ME again and that person is supposed to be paying bills or cleaning up a kitchen. This little spot is my public hiding place where I’m not alone, but I am alone at the same. I am somebody taking up a seat at a table, but I’m nobody really, and that’s nice.

2 thoughts on ““I’m Nobody, Who are You?” From a Coffee House View

  1. This resonates with me, Angelina. I travel alone a lot and I do not mind sitting by myself or eating by myself. In fact, like you said, “… I am nobody.” And I enjoy that. Emily Dickinson’s poem is simply delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

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