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Coffee Shop Whore?

04 Mar

There is a story behind my title, if there wasn’t – it wouldn’t be a good title.  This story begins about eleven years ago, in a coffee shop just outside our nations capital. It involves The Cure, a Radio DJ… sorry, On-Air Personality… a great latte and a bizarre little story involving vampires.

I was taking a writing class at the University of Maryland and I had a very vague image in my mind about a character relationship.  I hadn’t had the idea yet, but I could feel that it was creeping up on me.  The ‘inspiration’ for this semi-formed notion was Love Song, by The Cure, something about that minor key had grabbed me.  After an hour at Starbucks spent staring at a blank page, I admitted to myself that I needed more than caffeine to get me going.

Now, bear in mind that this was before Starbucks had their own music label.  Like an answer from the writing god, Amy Paige (now with XM radio) announced she was taking requests for the eighties hour.  My call to the station did not kick-start my inspiration, for she did not have the song, but it  did kick off an interesting friendship.  For the next year I would call the station  during eighties hour to catch up with Amy and to see if she ever did get a copy of Love Song. 

       I still haven’t explained the title, but it is necessary to understand the context from which the title originated.  Amy was faithful and loyal to Starbucks and to her Caramel Machiatto, which was my beverage of choice during that first conversation.  Unlike Amy, however, I was not faithful to Starbucks.  I first strayed when I discovered Caribou Coffee, and then Capital Coffee, then the Mayorga Coffee Factory. Scandalized, Amy began asking “which coffee shop are you consorting with today?” and since I had confessed my difficulty in finding the heart of my story, she would ask for updates on its progress.   My lack of shame and my delight at new and various purveyors of caffeine led to the label “Coffee Shop Whore”, but the confessions are what I am most grateful for.

At a time in my life when I had no one to share my ideas with, I found a sounding board on the radio.  To this day, I have never met Amy Paige in person, but  now, almost a decade later, I still smile when I hear the haunting minor chords of The Cure.

p.s.  the vampire story will be coming soon in episodic format — check under Generations

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Coffee Shop Whore?

 

2 responses to “Coffee Shop Whore?

  1. RichardWScott

    March 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    This is a wonderfu–and wonderfully told–story. Having someone to share ideas, someone who just does more than listen and nod, is priceless.

     
    • Fionna Larcom

      March 11, 2010 at 4:32 AM

      Thank you,

      I had to pause in my progress on the site for two reasons:
      1) finals week is this week and I thought it best to finish those before committing to something else.
      and
      2) slight change in plans for this blog. Originally it was just a way to keep myself writing, but now I think I want to do something more. Originally Confessions was to be a collection of short stories, and I want to keep that idea alive. Once classes are done I am off on my roadtrip adventures again, and I want the stories to come from the roadtrip (and of course from coffee shops along the way)

       
 
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