I miss Amelies.
Amelies was the coffee shop where I used to start my day pre-pandemic.
9 am every morning, I’d sit in one of my 3 favorite seats and watch as the words miraculously flowed from my big head to my lil’ wrists.
Amelies was my mojo.
And every week since April I’ve googled to see when my mojo was returning and for 3 months the listing has said: “temporarily closed”.
I held onto hope, assuming that they’d reopen soon; rearrange some seats and let a young nigga work
Then on June 26th, there it was.
An article popped up saying that they’d “permanently closed”. I was devastated.
I don’t know if I’d ever had such a literary loss, such a blow to my momentum and routine.
Needless to say, I’ve been struggling to adopt a new way of life that bodes well for me as a creativepreneur.
I found another coffee shop that’s even closer than the quarter-mile I used to drive to Amelies.
It’s black-owned and is right across the street from the ‘partments where my weedman stays so that’s cool.
Like everyone else, I’m getting used to a new normal; specifically a new writing normal.
So I figured, what better way to do that than to write about my old writing normal, while in my new coffee shop, in a piece called…
Ode to Amelies
When my friends and family used to call me between the hours of 9 am & 11 am the first four words out their mouth were usually, “Where you at? Amelies?”
I’d giggle at the routine of it all; bashfully responding “yes” and continue nibbling on my croissant and coffee; a meal I never had to vocally order – the baristas knew. “The usual?” they’d politely ask. I’d nod with a smile and hand over the $5 it costs to fill my belly til’ noon.
This was perhaps the draw; that I could have a savory meal at a reasonable rate, surrounded by quirky Parisian artifacts in a place where everybody knew my name. Mmmk. So they didn’t know my name, but they did know my order and there beget the beginning of what seasoned artists call the flow.
It was because of this ritual that all other rituals could commence. I got my coffee, my croissant and now I could get crackin’ on whatever it was I creating that day – making Amelie’s the quintessential coffee shop for artists, everyday people, and those that can’t afford a trip to Paris because they keep spending all their money on breffis. I am those.
Their croissants were delicious, especially when warmed. But if I stayed for lunch, I’d skip the croissant and grab a soup and sandwich instead. The spinach, leek, and asparagus soup sounds like something they serve in a nursing home but tasted like something they serve at The Louvre. If Claude Monet made broth instead of those stupid water lilies, it’d probably taste like Amelie’s signature soup.
The pastries (meh) looked better than they tasted. In my-no-cake-eatin-ass-opinion, one would’ve been better off taking a picture of the vintage glass case containing the fancy sweets, rather than buying one.
It all looked so authentically French, so pleasantly presented – if I’d known better, i’dda took a picture myself, plopped a geotag on it, and faked like I’m in France for the gram.
Speaking of the gram. If you’re a lifestyle blogger it’s a shame if Amelie’s wasn’t on your mounting to-do list. There was an excited patron taking a flat lay picture every 5 mins so you’dda felt right at home, for it was filled with photo-worthy fragments that were sure to get you beaucoup likes.
But likes aren’t my thing; productivity is and that’s what I did at Amelie’s – produce shit. From clever captions to brooding blog posts. Tuh. I planned and launched a whole ass company at Amelie’s. Buy your shirts here!
I really miss that energy yall. The energy that came with calling Amelies my office. And if I had the cash, I’d buy dat bitch right now! Open the doors and “put my ass where my heart wants to be” – right back in my favorite spot – in the big blue velvet chair, the one by the window.
It’d be worth the creative investment. But who am I but a girl who over the last 4 years has spent $5000 on coffee, croissants, and creamy soup?
There’s another Amelies in Charlotte. It’s the original one. I’m gonna go one day but right now it’s not a priority. (Shrug) Maybe I’ll put it on my bucket list.
Right now, all’s I care about is adopting a new writing routine. Getting comfortable in this literal uncomfortable seat (fidgets) and letting go of my literary love affair with Amelie’s.
To kick that new practice off, I’m heading to North Carolina next week. No, not to relapse on coffee’n’crossaints, but to dedicate 3 whole days just to writing.
Just me, a few notebooks, my laptop, and a cardigan to keep me warm while I walk the beach at night to clear my mind before heading back into my Bald Head Island Bed and Breakfast to write again for the night.
I’ve entered an era in my life where creative control and financial independence are of utmost importance so ain’t no cafe in the whirl finna stop that.
Besides. This place ain’t so bad (looks around). There are chairs, and tables, the staff is friendly and black. (Takes sip). Coffee’s ok. Parking sucks and they play too many jams; you know shit I have to keep taking my headphones off to dance to, but that’s ok. (As “Before I Let Go” bops in the background).
But the best thing about this new….hol’ up. Is that my weedman?