Urban Digression


Some evenings are exercises in futility.


I lean back in the leather booth, head half turned to watch the rain on the pavement. Black suede collar still up as the glass leaks chill. The throbbing in my leg seems to pulse in time with the traffic as it careens apparently blindly down uncertainly lit streets. I know how the traffic feels.

I stir my cappuccino with an absurd little spoon, functionally alone as she quietly describes the encounter to her mother, her cellphone’s glow the brightest spot in the stylish little room. It is just as well, I am worse company then normal. I tap the red marble table with the toy spoon as my mind follows the headlights racing by.

Their wheels spin, they race here and there, but do they really get anywhere in this dripping, deepening twilight? Shop windows blare with styles for the young and the wealthy and the misplaced, cafe culture is out in force as the workday ends in the naked city, the urban night is approaching. Time beyond this window is burning as if it is limitless. Why?

I sip my coffee, feeling both with and apart from the people hurrying. I accidentally meet the eyes of a woman as she stops near the window. She is younger than I am but not by much, darker than I am by a good deal, her hairstyle short, her eyes guarded, her figure trim.

We appraise one another silently, my gaze moves over her leather coated form frankly as she seems to focus solely on my eyes. Neither of us venture an opinion when our eyes meet again, sliding over one another like rain-slicked fingers, and then she is gone into the mounting night. I wonder for a moment where she was going, where she had come from, what she did with her hands when she kissed, then let the image go. I finish my cappuccino and reflect anew on another impotent moment in a superfluous evening.

Spinning my wheels, like traffic in the rain. Not a single action this afternoon had any point. All of it wasted energy, wasted time, wasted heartache…but perhaps, they were the beginning of an end…some end…any end. I drop my tiny spoon in the empty cup and contemplate something covered in chocolate as the conversation has moved onto politics.

No wheel spins forever. I will move on from this…eventually.


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