What is it about getting older that makes a person crave peacefulness?

About a month ago, I was  at The Coffee Underground eating my customary spinach omelet and banana when it dawned on me that I wasn’t enjoying myself, nor had I enjoyed myself there, not really, in quite some time.

The omelet was as tasty and the service as friendly as ever. The coffee as expertly roasted and brewed. The decor, funky and familiar, had changed little in the eight years that I’d been going there almost every day of every week that I was in town.

But the crowds, I realized, always large and getting larger, had begun to oppress me, and the ambient music, mostly rock and mostly unfamiliar, was making it hard for me to think. Earbuds helped, but at the expense of feeling any connection to my surroundings.

It was at about this time that I discovered Tealoha, an inexplicably underpatronized tea and coffee bar only a few blocks away on McBee. Their French press coffee is twice as expensive as what I was drinking at the Underground, but it’s made to order and three times as large and it’s brought to your table with an hourglass timer to finish steeping.

And let us not forget the free wi-fi and numerous wall outlets, the earth tone decor and subdued lighting, the gluten-free chocolate torte, the classical music played at low volume and the fact that I’m often the only person there.

A friend tells me smirkingly that I prefer places that are going out of business. I tell my friend that I prefer places that are run as a tax shelters in defiance of market forces.

Evolving market forces, of course. According to The Greenville News (02.21.14), the U.S. Census predicts that Greenville County’s over-65 population will swell to 73,817 in less than 3 years.

And old people like tea.