I’ve gone to the same Starbucks in Tulsa about 3 times in a row now. It is not where I usually travel but I had to get my car serviced a number of times and it’s the coffee spot closest to the dealership. Each time I’ve spent time working and drawing, usually about an hour or so. Each time the same woman was there. The first time I noticed her but I was faced the opposite direction and ended up drawing a couple talking at a window table while it snowed.
The second time I drew her on a napkin and showed it to her. I also showed her the sketchbook drawing from my first trip there and the sketchbook drawing I was doing that day, of a woman being interviewed at the end of my table.
I haven’t finished her napkin yet but I did take a photo of her with it, as I always like to do if possible. I emailed her the photograph. While we talked I found out she liked to hang out there before her job at Dillards, a department store at the nearby mall. I also found out she had taught English in Korea for a year and had just got back in the summer of 2013.
The third time I sat across from her and drew her in my sketchbook. She told me that she had decided to go back to Korea for at least another year to teach again. I admire the courage it takes to go off to a new part of the world all by yourself. To go back a second time, that really says something about what you discovered about the place, and about yourself, the first time around. I wish I had done that in college or afterwards.
I wish her great fortune in her journey to Korea!
Drawings and writing by Marty Coleman