Ode to Red Rose Café
I wake now with the faint smell of ground coffee and dust mites and long for that place, that glorious cavern, where I once spread my work, my pens laid carefully in the grooves of the tiled table, and cry for what is past. Death came quickly. The long bars of your door, like bronze sausages, immovable. The sign taped to the window telling lovers “No longer.”
I cling to those days of hours spent scribbling my uninspired verse to the sound of NPR, the daytime choice for us older clientele. I heard rumors of the night time, the young ones, the music, guitars and drums, beer and smoke. But for me, my life lingered among the fruit tea and Vietnam vets, the long-haired boy behind the counter who gave me extra Ranch dressing.
My lungs fill with angst at the disappearance of the kick-ass beer cheese soup, the frothy liquid, that when attempted to imitate at home becomes diluted in the tears of my loss.
The Disney trivia game, the Scrabble from which my youngest learned her letters (sans the vowels). Oh yes, Rose, you were the more than a coffee house, but a bed of learning and literacy and Disney.
Who now will replace you? Who now will step forward, bring their pee-stained couch onto the stage, their dull paperbacks and lesbian art to the ‘Boro? Who will let the wayward and the lovely in? Serve them a mocha or a falafel? Though some have tried, the Rose cannot grow again. And here we are, left in the wake, destined to sip coffee next to teenagers doing Bible studies or pasty men luring young graduates into Amway.
Oh ‘Boro, you throw your Moseses into to the water, you drag your dogs behind your cars, you rid our fertile soil of fresh trees and flowers and replace it with eateries designed for Realtors and bank workers. Give me that church of yesteryear, that place where my soul felt fed.
There are rumors on the wind, they whisper of your return. But I shan’t listen; I shan’t believe. I will not allow that spiraling fall to happen to me again. And if this rumor is true, if…then I will lay a sacrifice in front of the grand doors. A thanks to the gods and goddesses who saw that all that is wrong in this world has not been solved by strip malls and more red-bricked banks, but by a haven for those of us who feel that without the Rose we are wandering in the wilderness of mediocrity.
(for those wanting to save the Red Rose, go to http://www.redrosecoffee.com/)