I've decided that I'll drive across the country in a few years. Or maybe I will figure eight it. Either way, there is a Patchwork of Pretty States I'd like to find myself within. I think I need a little Memphis sewed into my sleeves. I'll make a frilled tutu out of Denver.

But what would be the point, you ask? Why get into a car, load that sucker up with gasolina and skitter across the whole of Lady Liberty's stomping grounds? Well, for you, of course. Sure, monuments and landscapes are awfully nice but, I kinda really just want the chance to sit across from you instead of spending this tiny blip of a life before eternity blocked by dueling computer screens.

And when I type "You," I don't mean "You" in the sense that "You" is really the guy who bulldozed by porcelain heart and got away with it. And I don't mean "You" as in the "You" I have no courage to ask about the weather, never mind say hello. I just mean You. You, sitting right there with the coffee in your hands, growling at your office work or cooing at your baby. You & I. WE certainly need to arrange a time to sit down, put some Fine Frothing Fraps between us, and chat. Don't ya think?

You think I am crazy? Seriously? You think I'm off the Sane Train for being willing to travel the 50 states just to take a seat in some roadside diner or nooky coffee shop just so we can gush about life together? Um, hellllllllo. I made a fulltime hobby out of writing love letters to strangers. How could I not take this epic road trip?

Take this invitation, this blog post, as Me wanting to treat You to the finest elixir I know in life: Coffee Dates.

I confessed it once while guest blogging, that I am a coffee date addict. My planner is filled with little drawings of coffee mugs with a different name scribbled on the inside of each cup. Each Teeny Tiny Cup, doodled from Sunday to Saturday, represents a different date I have made with someone. I average a good four or five a week. Sometimes in a newly discovered coffee shop, other times in good ol’ Starbucks. Sometimes with old friends, other times with complete strangers.

Sweet jeepers, they make my heart skip beats and they make my feet hang up signs on the tops of my shoes saying, "Gone Barefoot Dancing, be back in 20." I think that a magic that knows no syllables or definition sits in the act of Sitting Across from One Another and Sharing Sticky, Sweet Stories like Cinnamon Buns Gone Melted in the Hot, Hot Sun.

So here is your list of pending questions, if you plan to accept my invitation, and welcome me into your state: Who are you? No, who are you reallllly? Don't give me your resume, give me the gold. You, the real you. What keeps you up at night? Don't tell me what you do, tell me what you dream to be... Are you on your way to that dream right now? If not, what is stopping you? Want to jump in the car?

How did you wish as a child? On stars? Candles? Tunnels? Tell me everything. Skinned knees. Battered hearts. Give me a cake batter of your life and tell me there's no real recipe. And if there is a recipe, let it be a secret one. Like grandmothers and their sauces. Mothers and their pastas.

After all, you are an expert in life so what can you teach me? Don't tell me you are not an expert. I am grande believer that we are all Experts in some Aspect of Life. Teachers to a trade, be it love or friendship, ambition or passion. So teach me. Show up at the coffee date with a chalkboard and lesson plan if you would like, just come trusting that you've got Good Stories and All the Right in the World to Tell Them Out Loud.

Perhaps you think I am kidding, oh but friend, I am so far from kidding. Even my funny bones are deciding not to crack jokes over this one. A few years from now I'll start. You just tell me where to go. Pick the spot with the best character. Or the spot that serves a mean drip coffee (my favorite). Pick a place where history and love stories are literally peeling off the wallpaper. You come with your tales to tell and I'll meet you with mine. And together we'll either laugh, cry or heal in the middle.

I'll be taking the next week off to plan my cross country road trip scattered with coffee date destinations. In the meantime, while I pray to God for a coffee soul mate who lives within walking distance of Graceland, I have two remarkable guest bloggers lined up for next week. Enjoy. Stay cool!

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