Coffee in America

Posted by jerry on May 14th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Theory, Travel

America starts the day with coffee – for some it’s a simple filter coffee, for others a double decaf latte with complications. But it’s always coffee.

Perhaps it’s a pre-breakfast business meeting – notice the power relationship: semiotically (proxemics – spatial orientation – gaze, dress), two have coffees and are leaning forward aggressively while the third has nothing and has his arms folded defensively – this is not a pleasant meeting…

business meeting

Or a couple bored with life and each other – both with arms folded and looking away from each other, lost in their own worlds and present to neither, each tolerating the other’s presence but wishing they were elsewhere.


And sometimes, it’s a bite out of time to escape into a good book and leave behind the mundane for a little while. This woman let her coffee go cold – such was the power of narrative!


Gradually the Mall rubs the sleep from its eyes and begins the day.

Tysons 1 mall

Somehow the off-white tiles stay clean. Every second person carries a take-out coffee and the other half are talking on cell-phones – perhaps to each other.

The stores beckon with the lure of the exotic – Shogun of England, Clarks Shoes (England), Lenkersdorfer, Haagen Dazs – European names and references to that which is not here.





1 Comment

Comment by Peggy Calvert

Hi Jerry:
I read Sharon’s blog regularly and love her work. That is how I found your travelogue.
I am enjoying your perspective on our country. Malls and Coffee ( with capital letters) are definately a huge part of the USA. I am one of those ladies that lets the coffee go cold for the book.
Please, while you are here, if you have a “be nice to yourself” moment, visit an independent book store, or a thrift store or find one of our National Parks( before school is out.) I think that you will find the experience interesting and pleasant.
Peggy L Calvert
In the middle of Orange County , CA

Posted on May 16, 2007 at 3:26 am

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