Double Decker Coffee Company

Asheville, North Carolina

tableaux'd by:

ideally, i would mysteriously awaken in places whose primary delight to me is the unexpected character of their spaces in relation to the parlance of their type, and especially in relation to what i saw from the outside, awaken there, transported in my sleep, to a contained world that i would seek to formulate a shell for, a history for, like guessing the identity of an object from a magnified fraction of its whole. two places i would like to have been spirited to, on separate occasions, are the inside and outside of the double decker coffee company.

Double Decker Coffee Company

i am in a narrow space between a cabinet and a bench, on the floor, there is just enough room for me to roll over, put my hands in front of my chest and press myself erect. a warm light washes all around from eye level as i crouch upwards into a slightly wider space than where i had first lain. as my eyes raise with me i see a counter, as if infinitely far away, the narrow perspective with diminishing windows running into the distance, wrapping behind the barista standing there, preparing me a beverage. i stand tall, proudly, slightly reaching out my hand to receive my cup, and hit my head on the slick ceiling. i awaken in another similarly proportioned chamber. again the space is low, its volume unconventional and seemingly unrelated to its function, although having the capacity to slow a visitor such as myself to paces more intimate and quiet. tables in sequence run along the narrow aisle separated by benches. upon each table is a tiny lamp with a delicate beaded lampshade which casts warm yellow light across the laminate tabletops and lavender reflections on the aluminum windows wrapping the space. some of the windows are slid down from the top, the red enameled edges of the frame outside are visible and then only blackness. i turn to see an opening in the floor at the end of the narrow aisle through which a slender spiral stair descends. more warm light is flowing out from the staircase as well as some distant music, portishead or björk or the like. i descend the stair to find myself in the previous space, stacked beneath me, an almost identical chamber just as warm, just as black beyond the windows. there is a bifold door at the base of the stairs. i exit to get a look at the container that might hold this odd setting.

i am in a dark garden. a decorative black fence appears and disappears behind trees and plants in pots. beyond the fence is primeval darkness. umbrellas shield the starlight and create a low ceiling beneath the sky under which i feel secure. in a clearing stands a red double decker bus. warm light pours out from its two bands of windows, the soft articulation of people standing hunched over and faces low in the windows of the upper level begins to give life to the stationary vehicle. it is inhabited as though we stood in an abandoned movie lot in a forgotten filming location. we have taken over the plot of ground and its props like street trash in a junkyard and made it our little folly. the light washes over concrete patio furniture and brick paving. i walk through the cold night toward a short bifold door, up two steps, and pull it open.


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Double Decker Coffee Company

41 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, North Carolina 28801



One Response to “Double Decker Coffee Company”

  1. Alison

    great article !


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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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