Having Coffee with Beckett
My latest coffee obsession is the flat white. I write as I watch the kind waiter walking towards my table, confidently carrying with my flat white with one brown sugar, which had been pre-stirred by the barista before the foamed milk was added. Just a touch.
Chatting about the charismatic walk of the waiter – about his walk, about watching him walk or watching his walk, about writing about watching his walk, about the anticipation for the coffee – I think this blog will precisely do that. Perhaps less about waiters and coffee and more about theatre and performance. Perhaps just a touch.
There’s a famous photo of Samuel Beckett sitting at a café in Paris, most likely at Le Petit Café on Boulevard St. Jacques. It was taken in 1985 by photographer John Minihan. The ashtray is filled with cigarette buds, the window in the back is covered with mouth-watering words like “croissants” and “chocolat,” Beckett has multiple wrinkles on his forehead, but my favourite thing about this photo is that there are two cups of coffee on the table. I imagine that one is Beckett’s and the other is the photographer’s. But because the photographer is taking the photo seated on the seat in front of Beckett, it almost feels like we are invited to have coffee with him. Just you and Beckett, over coffee. And just a touch of cigarette smoke.
This blog is not a café, nor is this a French salon, but I would want to imagine that it is just like that photo of Beckett. That this virtual sphere is a space for connection, for casual collaboration, for creative correspondence, for constructing (and destructing, and disturbing) criticism, for catalysing candour. Also, perhaps, for just a touch catharsis.
The waiter arrived with my flat white, and so have you. I am happy to see you. What will you be having?