And Gutenberg Lived Here: Coffee, Chalk, And A Mountain Of Cards

Have you ever ruffled a deck of cards,

missed your timing,

and had them come flying down,


on you and everyone else unlucky enough to decide to play cards with you?

Alice in Wonderland like?


in a much milder form,

that was happened to me this morning.

Only they weren’t playing cards.

They were coffee bonus cards:

buy nine get one free-

or cheap lunch tickets

same deal-

at the Mexican down the block.


I write a lot in coffee shops lately,

since I find the sound of a barista calling

“Dunnasead, your coffee is ready”

much more stimulating than the sound of a washing machine

calling ”

Hey, Lady, no more clean socks in the house.”


ever since I heard a great writer at a conference talk about how he writes at



too loud and too expensive for my taste.

But that’s just me–

I’ve been trying to sell

to all and sundry

the “necessity of a truly artistic background for my creative



So  anyway,

there I was,

getting ready to go to work,

and stuffing all the non-necessary

car driving and bonus stuff I always take out,

as a good and proper

“don’t bug the airport or concert hall people with non-to-be-used junk”


back in my  already monstrously heavy handbag,


if I sit on it,

will just about fit in my

already monstrously heavy

laptop filled

messenger’s bag,

or at least would,

if I didn’t put my wallet in,

which contained-

Mexican dinner tickets,

cards for coffee from:

subway, Mccafe…


count them


sets of coffee cards,

many of them double,

since my husband is often along,

working on a theorem,

writing in imaginary chalk

on an imaginary chalk board,

while I hide my head

under an imaginary May West size hat,

and pretend I’m not with him.

Why he does that…?

He’s a mathematician.

I’m just glad he doesn’t have friends along,

since they usually end up writing on drink coaster,

and then table cloths,

and then…

one of them, seriously,

at a formal dinner,

ended up paying for,

and taking along,

the table-cloth.

Afterwards we asked him why he didn’t just pay the cleaning bill

and photograph it.

He didn’t think about it.

Hey, there is a guy who comes with a shepherd’s staff,


and his own homemade clothes.

Kind, sweet, good people,

involved with another world.

I like mathematicians.

But meanwhile, back at the  cards…

so when you are out with a man,

at the kind of places mathematicians often favor,

where you can use coffee tickets,

you have to be prepared for the fact that,

when they take off for Bobaqui land,

you get stuck with the coffee bonus tickets-

two to an infinte number of infinite sets.

Which you one day,

when returning from a  journey

to a realm where you really aren’t supposed to be drinking coffee,

because you are in training,

or you are at a conference,

where the coffee,

and often donuts,

are free,

ie without tickets,

suddenly discover your tickets don’t fit in your wallet,

which doesn’t fit in your handbag,

which doesn’t fit in your messanger bag,

which is overfilled by a laptop,

which you need…

to write a blog about….

too many coffee bonus tickets.

copyright 2017

2 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Coffee, Chalk, And A Mountain Of Cards

  1. Fascinating. I’d love to see your show sometime. Unless, of course, you are one of those people who pick assistants from the audience to saw in half. I would hold the flowers, though, if you do the trick where you change a cane into roses.


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