Friday, November 1, 2013

Autumn Coffee

She sat on the bench reading the book with an intentness that could have only signaled either an engrossing text or a concerted effort to remove outside stimulus from her attention. The noisy man seemed to indicate the latter.

He was putting up a show. Speaking loudly to the barista. Ostensibly to impress. Doomed to failure.

I received my coffee and turned toward the door. I blew feebly on the lid. I tentatively sucked at the miniscule hole. I burned my tongue. It always happened. I sucked in air and blew again on the lid. A futile attempt to cool the coffee.

The man got louder and more self-aggrandizing. There was more to the story than the woman on the bench.

I held the thought momentarily and left the scene.

The day was brisk and sunny. Bright. A fall day of yellows and reds set against the cool blue of the sky. A jet passed overhead, filling my ears with the dull roar of the urban environment. The streets were dappled with sunlight. As I shifted between shade and sun I could feel the temperature change.

Winter lay ahead, barren and gray. I didn't worry too much about it. Death comes to all of us, but we think about it only in the quiet moments when we can't close our eyes. And so too was the winter. Coming, gray and endless. But in the future--an intangible future.

My ears were bitten by the breeze. My hands were warmed by the coffee. I smelled the autumn air. And I enjoyed the quiet moment. It passed too quickly.