The reality is that Wired was an utter phenomenon. There is no other word with the same kind of impact to explain its presence in the area; Wired’s contrast was once literally described as an oasis in Alabama, and this writer is inclined to agree.
The next major movement in the song of Wired happened in the Summer. By this time, my own presence as a member of Wired had become established; not only was I a regular customer, I spent every possible free moment at Wired- drawing, writing, talking, reading, drinking coffee- the quintessential elements that determined who and what I was, even up to this very day.
Summer was heralded by the Last Day of School. The college students had the fantastic fortune of getting out of school early in the month of May; the poor high school students and further down the totem pole would eventually be out by the end of the month, the most unlucky not leaving school until the beginning of June.
The Last Day of School saw my good friend Melanie and I sitting out front of Wired, having our coffee and enjoying the fact that it was early morning, our finals were completed, and we could now stare across the street at the college.
Wired sat across from the Dothan campus of Troy University. One might assume that the presence of a college in proximity to the coffee house would have bolstered the business significantly, but it didn’t. Whether this was because of a lack of advertising or a poor position, I’m not sure, but another point is that the Troy Dothan campus actually serves more for business and night students than for what one might term a “traditional” student.
The next major milestone happened on my birthday. My birthday unfortunately coincided with a depressing time in my life in which several of my social ties were disrupted, and even though now I think it’s strange I would’ve thought turning 19 would mark my being old, at the time becoming a year older and being depressed were not exactly the world’s greatest picnic.
While at Wired, my friend Ashley phoned me to tell me her boyfriend had just broken up with her; the poor girl was in tears, so I summoned her to Wired to share my birthday with me.
Ashley made it to the coffee house, and then Lily surreptitious sneaked a candle into a piece of cheesecake, and everyone surprised me by singing Happy Birthday.
This, mind you, is in the era when I had overdosed on cheesecake, so the thought of having even one more slice was completely out of the question in my mind. I quickly gave up the cheesecake to my dear little Ashley, because she needed the comfort food more than I.
Chocolate milk became another staple of my diet at Wired. Though not on the menu, Lily could make a mean chocolate milk for me. I would run excitedly to the counter and yell in Turkish, “Çukulatelu sut, lütfen!” which means “Milk with chocolate, please!”
Other staples of my Wired diet included bagels, whole rolls of bread, and apple juice.
During the Summer, several things happened. The first revelation that Wired had financial troubles came to the forefront. Even more of my free time was spent at the coffee house- as though that were possible!
In effort to help Wired, a local interior designer named Michael came to decorate and rearrange the place. His ideas punctuated the coffee house with a new air of freshness; it was the same place but revamped, pushed to its 2.0 status.
Also by the Summer, the obvious tensions among individuals began to surface. The sad reality that I have learned in my life is that despite everyone’s best efforts to try to get along and be friendly with one another, there are just some people for whom this is not possible and who are not willing to put forth the work necessary to be friendly.
Wired could have gone under at this point, but we devised a plan of sheer genius that brought together everyone and put us to our limits.
I’ll discuss this in the next entry.