I never intended for my visit to Starbucks to become a quotidian event. Meeting someone there was just a once-on-the-calendar thing. But for some reason, I went back the next day, and the barrista recognized me and welcomed me back. Before I knew it, I had driven across the city four days in a row, and a group of men (all of whom are writers) began to call me by name. We talked about writing, and the comfort of the big leather chairs became addictive. It’s now been several years, and my place at Starbucks is firmly established.
To say that it is quotidian is to admit that I go there every day … seven days a week. I arrive with my New York Times under my arm, sometimes traipsing through deep snow, torrential rain, or bitter hot sunshine. My main rationale for going is to read the Times. But to be honest, I crave the friendships that have developed.
They range from college professors, a local rabbi, a well-known local political leader, several writers who are at various stages in their tasks, a tattoo artist, numerous bloggers, a man creating an illuminated manuscript, a man who works at a bookstore, some of the barristas and numerous college students. Some are there every day (fellow quotidians) and some come irregularly. Sometimes we talk; sometimes it’s just a nod of the head and a smile.
The word quotidian is from the Latin and means daily. However, in contemporary American English it has taken on the concept of regular, or repetitively, not necessarily every day. You might appropriately indicate that “your trip through the Adirondacks was characterized by quotidian pine trees formed like a rank of tall soldiers.” Or, maybe “you sit in the park in the center of town, counting the quotidian, seemingly endless line of cars that winds its way through the village. ”
Right now, “my” Starbucks is closed for a week while much-needed renovations take place. It’s one of the busiest stores in New England. I drove by last night, and was shocked by the sight of a stripped-down interior, colorless and deprived of the liveliness that usually is seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the street. The parking lot is filled with trucks, equipment, and huge dumpsters into which familiar items and materials have been discarded. I can hardly wait for the reopening on the weekend.
Photo Credit: Tweaktown