This week I moved into a new apartment in Central Square, Cambridge.  Already, I have found my favorite neighborhood cafe for brunch.  If I could, I would come here every weekend.  Not only for the food, which is fantastic, but more for the phenomenal service.  If you could catch it on day when it’s not packed to the brim, you should take the opportunity to just sit for awhile.  Fortunately for me, that’s exactly what I did on Saturday. 

Even though I say I like to do my writing in cafes, I rarely do so.  Half the reason is that I’m addicted to the keyboard.  It’s so much more difficult for me to pen my words on paper.  Partly because I dislike having to cross out sentences and phrases that don’t come out perfectly.  If you’ve ever heard me write an essay on my laptop (my ex-roommate knows this), I type super fast, in spurts and jolts with loud, jarring jabs at the “delete” button every few seconds.  I am fairly certain that if any of the keys were to wear down, “delete” would be the first to go.  Without the ability to “delete,” writing by hand is stressful enough to dry up any inspiration.  Sitting with an idle pen in hand, I gnaw and wrestle with the words in my head.  The feeling is something akin to constipation. 

But what bothers me more than the inconvenience of old-school writing, is the idea of writing in public.  Especially in a small, cozy cafe, where the next table is only a mere four inches away, I cannot shake the feeling that everyone is looking over my shoulder to see what I’m scribbling in my notebook.  How self-centered is that, right?  As if anybody would be interested.  Certainly not the guy at the next table who is too busy schmoozing with his date to pay attention to anything else.  I know this, yet I still cannot write with abandon.  Even if I were writing in my own living room with my roommate nearby, I cannot.  I would fidget in my chair, tap impatiently on my keyboard, intentionally turn my computer screen away from my roommate, before I’d give up and climb onto my bed to finish my writing in isolation.  Am I insecure because I’m self-centered or self-centered because I am insecure? 

I think, it is because writing is so naturally difficult for me that it becomes so personal.  The way I stumble with my words, haphazardly appending clauses here and there, deleting and retyping the same thing, makes me anxious to let anyone judge anything that I write, or reveal the process it took to get there.  I guess it all comes down to ego and appearances. 

These Belgian waffles were delicious.  They came with a big dollop of homemade whipped cream that tasted light and refreshing; and a berry compote that was tart without being overwhelmingly sweet.  The red and blue stars, I thought, were a nice, festive touch for the July 4th weekend.  I’m glad they didn’t put a slab of butter on these since I usually prefer using syrup or, better yet, honey!  I really wish I could say that I made these, but I have yet to own a waffle maker.  Otherwise, I’d probably make waffles for breakfast every morning.  Since I can’t, I’d probably come here again next week.  And I’ll be sure to bring my notebook and pen.