The Woman who Writes at Starbucks

I’m in my second year of coursework for my doctoral degree.  Every Sunday I go to my local Starbucks to do reading and work on various assignments.  And every Sunday, without fail, I see the same woman.

She looks to be in her late 60s, early 70s maybe.  Her silvery gray hair is always pulled back into a low ponytail.  She wears a matching sweatshirt and sweatpants combo- usually navy blue, and white sneakers.  Always piled on her table are 3-4 library books, stacked haphazardly, as if she’s referenced them often.  She writes on a legal pad and generally sits at a table tucked away in the corner.  Rarely does she ever look up.  She is always there when I arrive, and is still there when I leave after 3 or 4 hours.

This woman has intrigued me for several years.  I’m so curious about what she’s doing.  Of course, it is absolutely none of my business, but I find her so fascinating.  I cannot maintain the level of focus that she has- I often get distracted by other patrons, the view out the window, and the internet-  even with headphones on.  This woman is somehow able to tune out everything around her.

Is she writing a great novel?  Is she researching her family history? I can never get close enough to see the pile of library books and she turns them in such a way that the spines face the wall.  Maybe she doesn’t want anyone to see.  I can never get a table close enough to her, because the place is always crowded on Sunday.

Recently the store closed for a few weeks to remodel the interior.  I thought about this woman constantly, wondering where she was going to work….I didn’t see her at the library, which is where I went in the interim (although, the library is large and I didn’t go searching for her….I’m not that much of a creeper).  When it finally reopened at the end of February, she was back again at her usual spot, writing away.

Maybe one day I will strike up a conversation with her….or maybe I will just let her work in peace and continue to wonder what she’s up to.  Regardless, I take comfort in the fact that, every Sunday, she’ll be there when I arrive, and remain when I leave.  The woman who writes at Starbucks.

6 thoughts on “The Woman who Writes at Starbucks

  1. If you do find out who she is, you’ll have to blog about it! I would be noticing her too, and wondering, and not wanting to interrupt in order to ask. Does it help you concentrate to work at Starbucks? I fear I’d never get anything done. 🙂


  2. I worked on much of my own coursework (and dissertation) on a laptop IN THE CAR while my husband drove to a from college football games where my son was playing! So on first glance, I am envious that you can sit in one place and people watch while you embrace a zillion action research projects! But, on a second glance, I am envious of your writing community. My local Starbucks is loud and frenetic- not conducive to writing. I usually just work from home – with Pandora!


  3. This sounds like something I would be thinking! I am always so curious about curious people like this. I hope you do end up chatting with her and then blogging about it. Now I’ll be wondering too!


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