Befriending a Stranger in Buck’s Coffee

By Samantha Lubliner, 2016

Located in Highlands, NC, Buck’s coffee sat isolated from other buildings. Across the street from the welcome sign, the coffee shop was a staple of the town and a buzzing place filled with people of all ages. The decor was trendy with a country finish, and the people were from all walks of life. The room in the back was for “stuff” and antiques ranging from lamp fixtures to deer horns.

The armchairs were big and looked comfortable next to the fireplace. The windows gave excellent natural lighting to the whole room, and the attention to detail and design lent to an ambiance of __. People sat both alone and in groups to enjoy their coffee or treat.

Inside Buck's Cafe.
Inside Buck’s Cafe.

I ordered a Chai Tea Latte with a shot of espresso. Distracted by the delicate jewelry on display, I missed when my name was called. I traipsed over to the biggest, comfy leather chair I could find unoccupied. The five chairs surrounding a coffee table were inviting, and I asked the one man sitting in the circle if he minded if I sat.

Before long my three group members joined me—and there we were, having a group meeting with a stranger. He was curious in our conversation of town hopping and pumpkin rolling and asked what we were up to. I explained to Matt the mission of our trip and the inquiry we were practicing. He showed interest and mentioned that he’s been to all the towns we had mentioned. When prompted he then discussed how he’s been to the many towns ranging North Carolina–all to capture the beauty of waterfalls.

Sam sits in her comfy arm chair, talking with Matt.
Sam sits in her comfy arm chair, talking with Matt.

Matt began to tell all about his passion of photography and his strong convictions toward travel for a bigger global understanding. He explained that materialism and big homes don’t make happiness but travel and making a bigger world are more important. He spoke about his plans to travel to Japan to visit his college roommate and his plans for travel and photography fitting in with his day job of IT. He showed us his Facebook page, his pictures of the Amsterdam canal and wished us well on the remainder of our journey through North Carolina.

Originally from Charlotte, Matt has big dreams and wishes to continue pursuing photography and travel. He gave us his Facebook page and advised us about the seasonal shadow of the bear that he had traveled to capture. Since the shadow bear was only visible for a few minutes during dust, we said good-bye to Matt and hurried out of Buck’s Coffee to catch the sight.