When all goes well I can have as much as an hour to myself before I have to report to work. I spend that hour at a coffeeshop called Friuli. The owner is Italian, the staff is the usual Almaty melange of Kazakhs and Russians. Two men and a woman; she works, they don’t, at least they try not to. Sometimes the can’t avoid serving a customer.
I ask for an americano and, when available, a croissant. If there’s no croissant the woman will bring me a plate of cookies. They’re indulgences I don’t need, empty calories that do nothing to fill me up. Usually I’m not even hungry. But they’re nice. And for about an hour a day I get to write.
I work on novels, or short stories, or whatever else is rattling in my head. I try not to think about work or family, or daydream about being President or starting a business. I resist the urge to tell an imaginary curious onlooker about my past or my future. I just write. At the end I take my word count and mark it on an on-screen sticky note. It keeps me motivated. Sometimes I write just to make sure that the word count is moving in the right direction. Without a definite purpose, even as modest as moving my word count up, my writings go nowhere. At least I’ve figured myself out.
Today it was 808. A funky number, banging like.
The coffee is decent. The croissants are hit and miss. Today’s was dry, dense, and a little cold. But that isn’t the point. I’m rewarding myself on a job well done. Funny how pleasing myself is something I have to work at sometimes.