Prompt—  Write where you are, right now, and everything in your scene.

21 Jan

Sitting in one-person sofa chair, looking around out of corners, eyes, two men in two sofa seats in front of me, talking about something intense or serious, middle-age man-y— younger couple right, sitting next to each other and not in front of the other, table blocks their faces so I can’t tell mood.  Don’t need to know.  I imagine them talking about moving in together, talking about marriage one day possibly, and how both act like that’s what they want to do but neither is sold on the idea.  I assign them identities and wishes, morning routines and coffee orders.  He with a regular coffee while she gets her usual, a venti latte something, with a little vanilla and something I’ve never heard of.  She orders those kinds of drinks where you’re standing behind them in line and thinking, “What is that?” Or “What does that mean?”

Large group of people, at longer larger table, talking with each other like they meet here every Sunday for some discussion routine, where they talk about politics, believing everything that the other utters is vulnerary, that it will heal.  There is a discernible leader, he speaks like his words and syllables are ideological anecdotes the world has never seen.  I can nearly hear him over this beat now playing.  I try to tune him out, but it’s infecting my scene.  Volume up… and I return to the young couple whose faces are censored by the horizontal expanse of a table.

Then there’s me, here in this chair writing about them and thinking about the day, after this Windsor Starbucks stop.  What will I do and why.  Why.  Why is my question, this semester.  Not a question but a statement begging more inquiry into self and what I want from this sitting.  Reminded I’m in control, but at time’s pleasurable play plate.  I look up and the man whose face I can see nods and shakes with everything his friend proclaims, if he’s proclaiming anything.  A coffee shop, stop, spot, more than a spot on a map but a temple, of lives and mornings, nights-before, healing, people, lives that intersect with other lives accidentally and with measure.

“…and after’s not bad,” a lady at the long table says.  Tempted to take out phone from right ear but that would reveal too much, tell too much.  Far beyond what my professors warned me against concerning exposition.  Everything is here, everything of our story, collective and individual.  Life, more than short.  This store makes me again interrogate self, why waste any time.  On anything.  With any character that doesn’t contribute positively to the experiential map.  What could she have been talking about, though.  Part of me has to know.  After what?  Some trial, some test, some struggle.  Before and after, like before I arrived here and now that I’m in this one-character sofa.

I zone out, staring out the window at the people waiting in their cars for the drive-through.  What does he order?  Probably a coffee like the other guy.  He has a hood on.  That’s why.  Must work construction.  Probably lives close by and commutes to Santa Rosa or Petaluma.  He looks up, sees me, more than likely wonders what I’m doing.  One thing we have in common.

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