The other day I did a terrible thing. The memory of which makes me shudder with guilt and shame. How can I look at myself in the mirror knowing how I betrayed those dear to me. I let them down. I let myself down. Dear reader. I let you down.
As I was jauntily skipping back from the gym one fine Saturday morning – the sun shining down on me, and birds singing in the
trees abandoned buildings (it is Shoreditch we’re talking about, here) – a terrible thought crossed my mind, like a black cloud moving ominously across the blue sky, threatening the previously idyllic day with storms and endless rain.
“What if”, this thought began “I tried that new coffee place on the corner for a change?”
And so it began. Once the thought made itself known, there’s no going back.
“It’s a new coffee shop”, it continued. “You love shiny new things” (the thought was right – I am fickle), “and even more than that, you hate the thought of missing out”.
How true! What if people in that coffee shop are having more fun than in my local? What if they’re somehow cooler? What if that coolness somehow, in some intangible way, rubs off on me? (The coolness would have to leap across empty spaces – no-one, and especially no hipster, was coming near my lycra-clad, sweaty self).
And that was it. The treachery took place.
As soon as I’d handed over my money I was consumed with guilt. I even seriously considered walking the long way round to avoid walking past Brick Lane and the scene of my betrayal – the thought of being caught out was too much to bear.
The need to be home and in a safe environment was too much. I decided take the risk of an accusatory stare from my local, and braved Brick Lane. No easy decision was this. I couldn’t chance being seen by the very same baristas that usually serve up my skinny cap with a trusting smile – how could I face their disappointment? In order to avoid this eventuality, I steathily became super-spy Kirby Golightly (an alter-ego that I developed whilst a kid growing up, that has come in surprisingly useful at regular intervals since), using such useful spy-tricks as “ducking to hide behind parked cars” and “hiding an open cup of coffee in my handbag”.
I made it home in one piece (and with a slightly damp handbag). Now was the time to savour my cardboard cup of caffinated goodness.
I sat back with a sigh and took a sip.
And you know what that coffee tasted of? The bitter tast of deceit. Deceit and disloyalty*.
Never again will I listen to that inner voice of mine.
Unless it knows of any good restaurants opening up nearby?
*Actually I can’t lie, it was a damn fine cup of coffee. I’d highly recommend this place (AllPress, on Redchurch Street, Shoreditch). But for me, my heart belongs to Brick Lane Coffee, and always will.