It all started the day that Paris closed.
I was sitting at home, doing nothing of particular interest and very blatantly avoiding my chores, when I read the article. ‘Denver’s oldest coffee house closes its doors.’ After 28 years, the owner of my beloved Paris had decided to call it quits and do something else with their life. A new coffee shop would move into its place later that month, but something about it was still devastating.
Perhaps for most people a coffee house wouldn’t hold such impact on their life, but for me it was like someone had just officially closed the gates to my adolescence. Even now, I can see my 15 year old self huddled around a table with my friends. All of us making a large black mass in the back of the smokey cafe full of chain-smoking young people with laptops and table games. I laugh and sip my quad-shot of espresso with chocolate, hellbent on never sleeping again. We smoke clove cigarettes, and the vanilla flavored ones we bought before the government outlawed flavored tobacco. Flash forward and I’m still there, sipping wine and talking about how there used to be a wall here, and once upon a time we smoked in the back room. I had spent the last eleven years, on and off, at Paris. Through menu changes and remodels, through high school and college, through celebrations and devastation, I always knew that Paris would be there for me with a hot cup of coffee, a glass of wine, and a French dip with jalapeno cream cheese and sprouts. Now, it was gone.
I immediately sent the article to my best friend in California. We’d just gone to Paris recently, when he came to visit for the holidays. “This distresses me more than it should.” It was nice to have someone to commiserate with on this.
It’s like the end of an era.
I don’t know when other people feel like they become adults, but yesterday was the tipping point for me. Paris was the one thing I could still grip tightly to myself when I felt like being an adult was too much. Now it’s not there. Yes, there will be a new cafe. Yes, I will be able to sit in it and look around and see my past self sitting in the same places. Still, there’s a sadness that creeps in, for nothing will ever be the same again.
In completely unrelated news… I have a date.
I think his name is Chris. He’s a boomerang, meaning I’ve dated him before. We dated for like four months. It was nice. He’s shy and very sweet. He even changed my tire on the side of the highway… and never once tried to get in my pants. The latter freaked me out at the time, because I thought there was something wrong with me, but now I’m kind of excited to know that he’s not going to try anything.
We’re going to a restaurant by his house, as he lives near Coors Field, now.
I hope he shows up… I have this fear he won’t… I dunno why I feel that way, but I do.