Have you ever let the world seep into your pores? I rarely do. It is an unfortunate calamity. I am quite certain that there are actions far worse than this, but I feel ashamed that I don’t. I should let the wind blow straight through me. The world should pour directly into me and fill me to the brim.
But I rarely let it do so.
I always hear the world, but I rarely listen. I sit with eyes wide open, but I have seen nothing. I chomp on life, but have yet to taste anything. I think thoughtlessly.
“Do you want a half or a whole?”
I see him in his entirety. His skin is a smooth carmel color. He’s someones father. You can just tell. He has a family. Something to live for. He spends his day working for someone else. Not because he wants to, but because he needs to. his family is worth working for.A thick black mustache sits above his lip. Coarse, well kept and jet black. His apron hugs him. It comforts him. It gets him through the day.
He cannot wait to be wrapped in the warm arms of his family. An apron is just too damn cold.
He smiles. It is not labored. He smiles because he knows that things could be so much worse than they are. The world is not balanced. It is not a scale. Goodness does not equal the horror. Good times do not have an equal amount of bad times. Some live a life served upon a golden platter. They drink ambrosia from a crystal cup. Grapes fresh from the vineyard. Others eat from a dumpster. Every day. Then they die. So this is good a good day.
It could have been bad for so long. A victory, no matter how small is a victory. So he smiles because it sure as hell beats the other option.
“Okay, so a half with roast beef. You got it.”
His smile isn’t labored. It was not placed there. It was meant to be.
His smile is broken only when the gentle rhythm of his voice is ready to flow, not from his lips, but from his soul. There’s a calming cadence to his voice. A wisdom that comes from doing, not watching. His voice tells a story. A story of experience. I think there is an accent, too. New York. Or maybe Boston. Could it be a bit of a Southern twang?
Experience. He’s lived. He’s been a part of it. Some of us never are.
“And what kind of bread did you want it on again?”
His hazel eyes hide behind rounded spectacles. Eyes that have seen so much. Is that not what eyes are for? He probably had to look at the sun. You can only stare at the sun for so long before you go blind. Sometimes you have to look at the sun. Life makes you. Life is too bright. Reality burns yellow and scatters color like shattered glass.
Why not look toward those shadows? It could be better to go out at night. That’s what I do. My eyes are protected. Safety. I am not meant to disturb the universe. The shadow of the entity is just good enough. The outline is more comforting than the actual object. The real is imperfect. Troubling. The shadow leaves a little to the imagination. Imagine perfection. See tragedy.
So I imagine. He sees.
“How does that look?”
He was an average height. Maybe 5’11” or so. Okay, fine 6′.
He was a giant. He loomed over all others. Experience nurtured his youthful body. Every day, he grew. He still grows. He is middle aged. But he grows. Endlessly. He grew. Just like a flower would. He grew most on rainy days. Sunny days made him stagnant. The sun can burn things into place.
So it rained. And he grew. And it still rains. So it grows.
I stand 1′ small. The sun dried me out. I am a sun bleached rock in a tired tourist destination. I am withered. Burnt out. I was afraid of the rain. So it will never rain. I fear the tempest. There is uncertainty in the storm so I set my sails for sunnier weather.
And then look only at the shadows.
“Great. Have a nice day now.”
Thank you. Same to you.