Thursday, September 1, 2011


The sky was gray.  It was a dirty gray that draped over our heads as the people scurried around the city, hoping to avoid the potential rainfall. Cars sped past the great buildings which loomed over the busy streets. Downtown always seemed to run at a quicker pace as businessmen juggled their smartphones and briefcases while the women broke out a sweat to keep their composure while balancing their morning coffee while fiddling with their leather purses. Cyclists forget their hand signals as cars attempted to weave through the traffic. Streetcars slowly trudged past pedestrians and lights flickered from green to yellow to red as flashing numbers reminded people to run faster. And while all of the hustling and city noise ran at a constant outside, the coffeehouse in which I sat in muffled it all. I watched as elderly men and women prayed to get to the streetcar stop in time; as couples watched the flashing number only to continue crossing; as a cyclist at a red light reached over to open the newspaper stand to only find it empty.

I sat by the window, back facing the only two men in the coffeehouse with me. Steam rose from the black porcelain cup and my cell phone didn’t make a sound. In fact, no one made a sound. The handle of the cup was just big enough for my index finger to loop through leaving my other three fingers and thumb to support the weight of the cup in my hand. Occasionally, I checked my phone for any new messages and I’d alternate between phone and coffee, coffee and phone. I placed the cup in front of my phone and then behind it. I kept rearranging their positions slowly and quietly. And between the fidgeting, I continued to watch them pass me by—pass the coffeehouse without another look. I forgot the time, the date, the reason why I ended up in a coffeehouse in the first place. Regardless I felt safe, hidden with my old and repeated thoughts as opposed to the foreign ones. Loneliness and depression accompanied acceptance and peace as time passed by in that small coffeehouse.

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