This was a ways off.
Specifically, it was 7.7 miles northwest from my home in northwest Philadelphia. So, this was really northwest. The Uber pool would have costed $10. The Uber X would have cost $18. The walk would have cost me my legs. Thankfully, I was still at the age where my dad was still willing to give me rides around without charging me a fare.
I came in order to meet my creative writing thesis adviser for the first time. I had never spoke to her in person before; she, among others, had been recommended to me by my major adviser. I had decided to ask this person for permission to nominate as my thesis adviser because she had taught fiction writing for over twenty years. Her only novel was about music. And, seeing as I also want to write about music in the form of a novel, I thought that the pairing would be appropriate.
Chestnut Hill Coffee Company had two stories. Beside it was a restaurant that sold pizzas at an affordable price, at least, from the prices I have been used to. I arrived at 11 am for my 2:30 PM meeting because it was the only time that had been convenient for my dad to drop me off. I ordered their house blend, which came in a thick ceramic mug. The downstairs area had been mostly filled, so I took the mug upstairs with me and sat next to the large window that faced towards the street. Through the window, I could see a local branch of Santander next to a building reminiscent of a town hall from Mother Goose tale. The sounds of cars wooshed past me. A tram track linked with concrete ran through the cobblestone roads.
There were very few people talking. The only notable conversation had been a group of three sitting two tables down from me. They were speaking in French. But, from their accents, it seems as though their French had been picked up sometime later in their lives. Their pronunciation of oui had a stringing piercing quality to it, as if the “we” dragged on a tad longer than it should have. The syllabic distributions did not seem subtle; allez sounded more like “a-lay” than “allay”. They also filled words that they did not know with English. If I were to be quite honest, it reminded me a bit of how I used to speak French in high school. Nevertheless, it was quite different from the mass of French that I had heard this past semester.
I spent the three hours before my meeting studying Case In Point, which marks the 5th day since I started studying for case interviews. It is quite a fascinating book really. I expected studying for case interviews to be like studying for the SATs. After all, both happen within my penultimate summer of education. But, in a pleasant surprise, the two do not seem similar at all. I did not want to take the SATs in the sense that I would never choose to study for the SATs given my own free will, but I don’t know if I could say the same with cases. I actively actually enjoy cases, and I would be quite grateful if I could do this for the rest of my life. But, who knows?
I did not think too much of the coffee. I have found it difficult lately paying attention to some of the subtleties of life. Perhaps it could be my stress about the upcoming recruitment cycle. Perhaps it could be my sadness spilling from my feelings of loneliness. I find little meaning in drinking coffee anymore, other than to help from succumbing to jetlag. Even water no longer has the same energy that it once had in my mind. Although I have not identified my life as “vibrant” for some time, it always seems to me that my taste for drinks would remain immune to such endogenous changes. But now, it seems as though my indifference had been a disease spreading all along, conquering one bit of my life at a time.