When I have spoken to writers in the past I invariably ask one question: Do you have a special ritual or a special place that primes the pump? One writer told me that all he requires is silence. Another has a special website that she goes to that refreshes her mentally and emotionally.

Me? Apparently, I am the hick, the Walmart … (sorry, Walmart), the GMC Pacer of authors. All I need is sugar. Preferably, sugar, chocolate, and coffee. And white noise. Lots of buzz where people are all talking, but where I can’t understand a word they’re saying. (I can’t wait to get nerve deafness.)

And I can’t be home. I have to be sitting in a public place where I am in danger of getting my laptop stolen every time I go to the bathroom.

Since I live in America, those places are fairly easy for me to find. Now, if I lived in France, I would have to become something other than a writer. An artist, perhaps. Or a street cleaner.

But I live in America, so all I have to do is drive down the town’s main drag and take my pick of places to write at. We have coffee shops, delis, restaurants… It used to be so simple.

Until I went to BHK. Or Brick House Kitchen. But for the sake of simplicity, I will type bhk.

Bhk is a little lunchtime restaurant on the town square. Or, was, I should say.

You would think that parking on a town square is an easy thing to accomplish. Think again. I had to prep. First, I had to make sure that I had at least four quarters for parking. Then I had to find an empty space near the bottom of the hill. Then I had to hike UP the hill to bhk carrying my backpack with 30lbs of computer, 10lbs of purse, and 100lbs of butt. No, the 100lbs of butt was not in my backpack, but below it…

But it was worth it. The owner, David, would take one look at the sweat dripping from my hairline to his counter, and give me a glass of iced water with a slice of cucumber floating in it.

Never mind the insanity that was ‘Farmer’s Market’. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, Farmer’s Market ringed the square with vendors selling flowers, vegetables, meat, and organic music.

I would always buy a bag of candy onions and fresh tomatoes while passing through on my way to write. Always a plus, but another 10lbs to carry.

But it was worth it. I would open the doors to my destination, a blast of air conditioning would freeze dry the clothes to my body, and I would head toward that little unoccupied table that faced the wall. I would set up my computer, then go to the counter to buy the world’s best cup of coffee. Then I would write.

The music? Was music from the 1940’s. So retro cool, I felt bad arriving in casual clothes. I should have worn a pencil skirt and dark red lipstick. And a fedora.

Sometimes my husband would go with me. Where we would do everything but act like grownups.

Sometimes he would proofread my manuscript.

Other times, when I wasn’t working, we would just drink vats of coffee together, and spend all day conversing, laughing, and peeing. Special times…


Bhk officially closed it’s doors last Thursday. My world shattered. Well, at least my writing suffered a setback. I find that I can no longer go back to noisy delis, where children jump on the booth’s seats like they’re trampolines. Where suburban housewives use their outside voices to talk about their marriages. Where coffee is something generic from an urn.

I have been spoiled.

Bhk… When will you reopen?

Do you have any stories of your favorite restaurant you want to share?

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Have fun!


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3 Responses to A DIRGE

  1. Snuffygump says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the demise of your new favorite writing spot! What happened???? Don’t they realize they have interupted the space time continuum, not to mention your writing flow?
    the only eatery spot that I have lost in the past 20 years is La Cocina, in Aspen. I was hoping to relish one last plate of blue corn tortilla creations before the owners had the audacity to retire and not pass on their legacy, nor produce a cookbook of their coveted recipes. I have to console myself with the hastily scrawled formula for their signature Chocolate Velvet, unscrupulously pirated by a certain prep cook. At least I’ll always have that!

  2. Thea says:

    Well, Snuffygump, would you consider passing the recipe on to readers when I do another Gourmet Gerde blog? Or at least tell us how it tastes… :)

  3. Snuffygump says:


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