One of those warm January days outside – soft rain is falling and the temperature is rising, only to fall tonight thirty degrees back into Winter. I walk to a restaurant to get some lunch; the rain picks up and the wind begins to blow so I pull my hood over my head and look towards the ground to avoid getting wet.
I walk in and I see the lady who works behind the counter; she always smiles at me and gives me a discount off of my usual order of fresh mozzarella and plum tomatoes pizza. She tells me she needs to get out of this place because they do not appreciate her and can only pay $10.50 per hour. I can see her eyes welling up and I tell her I understand and that things are tough all over; but that they will get better. She nods and says, “Next.”
I sit in the restaurant waiting on my pizza to be brought to me. Once again my mind begins to drop its guard and the dusts of reality begin to settle – setting my brain on overdrive and my mood to a deep dark blue. I watch as people around me are in conversation, or lost in their own worlds trying to avoid their own dusts of reality from settling. Distractions in the forms of gadgets and conversations with no substance. Substance is too real to speak about – sports and celebrity are easier to discuss.
A lady across from me, dirty blonde hair, red lipstick and large earrings – is speaking on the phone and every couple of seconds or so she looks at it as if its going to show her something on there. She looks confused and ready to hang up but the person on the other line must have other ideas. She looks at the walls and is probably not hearing anything but her inner sounds.
Two men, possibly in their late twenties are sitting across from each other – one is eating a salad while playing on his iPhone while his companion is speaking to him in an animated fashion about his Football Fantasy League. He seems to be taking it way too seriously and the friend just lets him go on and on – not really caring just trying to focus on his new phone.
At another table a middle-aged man is holding up the NY Post while he eats some sort of flat-bread sandwich. He takes a sip of his soda and then looks at his phone as if waiting for someone to call or send a message. He is wearing a dark gray suit, dark shirt and no tie. His hair is pepper sprinkled with salt and his reading glasses are black $1.99 pair from K-mart or some place. He has a leather briefcase to his right and a raincoat draped over the chair across from him. Every once in a while he looks out the window as if expecting the rain to stop and summer to come – middle of January so it aint going to happen. He looks back into his paper and takes another bite.
I get my pizza and I smile and thank the lady. I walk outside and realize I have no where I really want to go to. I walk through a park and spy lovers walking hand in hand, children playing on the swings and old men sitting at chess tables. They are speaking some sort of Eastern European dialect and smoking. They have drawn a crowd and seem to be enjoying the spotlight. I walk past them and see an old lady going through a trash can putting in cans and bottles in her plastic bag. Hare Krishna’s are singing something as they sit on a floor covering in robes and strange haircuts.
I see an old friend and he runs up to say hello to me. This man, David, I usually try to avoid when i see him first. He is the sort of person who is forever addicted to optimism. The type of person who when you ask how they are doing its always “Phenomenal.”
“Hey David, hows it going?”
“Phenomenal Freddy, phenomenal. How about you?” He asks me but he truly doesn’t give a rats ass.
“Things are good. I was” He cuts me off, told you he didn’t give a shit.
“I just came back from Aruba, you need to go there its amazing, amazing.”
“Great, yeah -“
“You need to go, come with us next time! I got a great deal it was less than ten thousand for the week. Everything included.”
“That’s a good deal?” I ask kind of amazed but resigned to the fact that I must be the only person in a financial recession and stuck in a psychological depression.
His phone rings, “I need to get this, good to see you, call me.” He walks away with his finger in the air as if motioning me for one more minute. I walk away quickly and realize that I am not hungry anymore.
I see a young lady on the floor with a child, asking for money or something. I look at them and realize they need it more than I do.
I give her the pizza and she screams at me that she doesn’t want me scraps. I take it back and I walk away.
I go back to work and I eat the pizza – thinking about that middle aged man in the restaurant. Sometimes we look outside of our own lives and we recognize shades of colors making up some future we never had planned. Broken promises, dreams and expectations have brought me to this lunch time walk where nothing happened, nothing happened but a short step down back into my cell.
The dust in my head has scattered once again and I can see the shadows floating through my brown eyes. I shake my head and like a snow globe my thoughts are floating and scattering slowly towards their places – where the various deaths lay on the ground waiting for some sort of resurrection that may never come.