Where Am I?
I’m sitting at a small table with a leaf pattern on it. There’s a soft “whirring” sound in the background. Large windows overlook scarce lunchtime traffic. The atmosphere could be described as… awakening. The air seems to swirl with warm vapors of comfort and happiness, reflecting early mornings and cold winter nights, even though the sun outside finally glows with traces of June summer. And the feelings associated with the chair across the table are bittersweet, since the chair is empty and her mind journeys back to February when it was not vacant, and when the world outside was still so cold. But she smiles on that chair with anticipation, knowing it will be filled sometime again, sometime soon, with a warmth that cannot be drawn from inside a mug or from this radiant sky.
The door opens, and two sets of feet shuffle across the ridged threshold onto mottled tile. One pair is large, sporting size 8 brown slip pumps and a scar across the upper ankle where the kitchen cupboard caught it on a loose screw. The pair accompanying barely size up to the ankle, wrapped in yellowing jelly sandals, bouncing up and down with joy, attempting to graze tiny eyes across the busy counter. Leaving the ground in the strong arms of someone known, the jellies disappear around a corner, replaced by silence in the absence of the jumps.
The occasional break for conversation wafts like the welcome vapors across the small seating spaces, jumbled in the void of faux rafters on the ceiling and chrome on the walls. An intercom crackles as a window opens occasionally, and the jellies are back, then slapping away. Next to the writer, an empty cup holds residue of some unknown delight, a dirty red straw protruding from the smeared rim. It is discarded.
While this place is so comfortable, the door opens to one strange face after another, still void of the one she wants to see. This beautiful day breaks open for newness and discovery, and surprised exclamations of joy and things unexpected. Grinding, whirring, stirring and clanking, clashing with the thwap of a sandal on tiled floor.
As soon as they had come, they have gone.
And she is left alone. The table seems so small as her feet brush the legs of the ajacent seat, and her briefcase squeezes against the wall. There are so many memories in this worn place, with its scuffed leather, chalked stone and varnished wood. The atmosphere is a blanket of the familiar, the known, the loved and the unseen. She could count back on the times she had journeyed to this place, amidst hail storm, blizzards, sweltering summers and dreary storms, both from earth and her own tears. This room had seen her anger, her despair, her joy and consternation, every turning aspect of her emotional facades.
And here she sits now, letting all the moments weigh down upon her as the morning changes, and faces leave their impressions behind.
A line is forming, and she is just another item, just another dollar in this gathering of consumers, waiting for satisfaction guarenteed.
Life is short.
Stay awake for it.