From Here, 2013
Warmth. The sunny barstools. The plant. It has been years, but it doesn't feel so. This space is familiar. Comfortable. I return to an earlier self and order a cappuccino. I wait, quietly. Sip. Open a slim book to its first page. I am immediately in her world, as if she is sitting across from me and telling her story. I ask her to pause on several occasions. I know it is just the beginning, but she pulls at me and wants me to understand her pain, to break just a little bit, and I do.
When I leave her and step into the cold air I press my tongue against the inside of my bottom teeth, hoping it will hold back my tears. I know she isn't finished, and I do want her to continue, but I have others who need me. Later, I think. Later. Don't forget to be where you are, now, as you walk down this cold street with her voice still in your ear, and later, when you sit at another table, surrounded by new voices.