What I love so ardently about 'The Bean' is that everyone in it could be elsewhere.
Looking around, everyone has either a laptop, a book, a newspaper, pens, paper, highlighters - any and every kind of tool to get well and truly lost. The only taskless ones are those who come and go, that momentary pause to perhaps wonder just what conspiracy lay beneath the surface of this establishment that it's deemed an absolute necessity that people must come here to do their business.
Each person who sits here, including me, could just as easily be doing this all at home. At a friends' place. In a library. Alone. But despite each being completely lost in the universe between our headphones, between the words on a page, or the pixels on the screen, we are still congregate here, alone, together.
I feel I can almost genuinely detect and diagnose the mood and sentiments of the person sat beside me, despite we having exchanged no singular word to one another through our hours of voiceless conversation.
For we are all here for a reason, and that sense of purpose is a contagion, a catalyst to productivity.
I have more ideas, accomplish more and find myself more inspired here than I do anywhere else in the city, because whether from our bodies on the connected benches we all sit, the mutual air we breathe, or the atmosphere that each silent stranger is actively contributing to - we are unintentionally yet powerfully reinforcing one another.
I have never seen these faces before, but I suddenly really want that girl staring hopelessly at the neon yellow-stained pages to ace that exam. I innately project intangible vibes of goodwill to the guy lost in the music he's creating, head almost to the keyboard, a passionate expression displayed beautifully across his face as he loses himself in whatever is in his headphones. I find myself really glad that the guy sat next to me read the thing which just made him laugh so uncontrollably and so delightfully.
And maybe all it needs is a little something that captures the communal attention, wakes a few from their self-constructed universes or for just to unexpectedly raise a glance in the simultaneous moment a stranger does and catch eyes across the room with a small smile of acknowledgement, to come to the conclusion that perhaps everyone else feels it, if even subliminally, too.
And that's why we're all here, that's why we all come, and that's why we all stay - because despite every reasoning dictating that we should all, most probably, be elsewhere, there's nothing quite like fulfilling that need to be alone, together.