A week ago Sunday, I spent most of the day looking for silence.
My apartment is old, with thick walls, and actually very quiet; with the windows closed I might as well be in a crow-free field in the middle of Iowa. I wish I could be creative with music playing in the background, but always end up listening and not thinking of much else. So I put a comfy chair (which also serves as sleeping location #12 for my cat) in the bedroom just for sitting with a laptop and writing. The conditions are perfect.
I also spend my days working at the other end of my lovely apartment. Although silence is a great trigger for my design-related neurons, with that package also comes stress about bills, clients, and everything else associated with running a business. I have become adept at the art of floating on creative endorphins while swatting away the mosquito-like intrusive thoughts. But sometimes, when I sit down in the comfy chair, my brain confuses silence-inspired work stress with the calm oasis of writing, and my apartment begins to feel like a box with lead-lined walls that deflect any creativity having to do with the putting together of words. This was my problem a week ago Sunday, and so I set off to find a different flavor of quiet.
Starbucks can be a good escape. There used to be one a block away but, in the eternal dance of banks, Duane Reades and chain eateries, it morphed into a bank. Then a smaller version opened on my side of the street. But potential patrons stalk the block awaiting an open seat and, once possessed, camp out for months at a time. (Well, maybe just minutes. But it seems like forever.) The tension is unbearable. It helps to be pre-medicated if you want to remain calm enough to think clearly while in that Starbucks. I did find a seat, wonder of wonders, but got tired of listening to the man at the next table complain about his ex-boyfriend. So I left.