Found back of Panera today. No one here. Had spotted ex-Longfellow-principal Mardi B. with friends in usual place, next to fire place, and Lance T., lawyer, actor, and supporter of youth theatrics on my way to rear of restaurant. Raining. April showering today. Have secreted home-toasted half jelly sandwich, intend to dip it into my paid-for Panera coffee. This is partly why I ensconce myself back here: I don’t want to be ejected for bringing my own food into the eatery ball park.
The other reason is the remoteness of it: I am far from the mad crowd, which is not bad by Friday rush-hour standards but still would be distracting as I think and scribble. As it is, I sit at a small round table for one, with no one in sight or even earshot. All I hear is delicate mood music, slightly classical, and distant patches of comment. Outside the traffic in the rain: Lake Street, River Forest, a few blocks west of Harlem