And for once I was SuperMom

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I sat in the corner, computer on lap, busily typing away, trying to wrap my mind around story lines or articles, trying to say important things.  My mind kept fogging, I begin to think that iced latte didn’t really make a dent.  An elderly gentleman comes in the coffee shop.  His slow cane aided shuffle leads him to the only open chair in the coffee shop.  He plunks down, old bones sinking into leather comfort.
I’m watching him from over his shoulder, he removes his white cap, his fleece coat reminds me of a horse blanket, I think to myself,
‘He’s not to go to buy coffee,’ and indeed he doesn’t.  He just sits.  For about forty five minutes and then he leaves the shop.  I wonder what he thinks about this all.  There are people all around him tapping on phones and computers.  One woman studying Equine medicine, another studying nursing, and the rest of us staring intently into screens, I’m sure we all think that we are important.  The line at the counter grows long and short, long and short.  Girls in too tight shorts, older women in comfy shoes, men hair gelled on a break from work.  Busy people, busy lives.
I wonder what he thinks about this all.                          
This man in the white cap and horse blanket coat.  Surely he has seen it.  All of it. 
I wonder what he thinks about this all.
Is the buy-ness worth it?  Are the computers silly?  Is the coffee worth four dollars?  Are we all as important as we think we are?
His white cap looks expensive.  His too big coat too hot for the early fall weather.  I wonder who he is.  What he’s seen.  I don’t disturb him, because I’m busily tapping away on my computer, staring at my screen, trying to say important things.  And that is not our way, Americans don’t talk to strangers.  Especially not New Englanders. 
I look at the other people in the shop, no one talks to each other, stand in line alone, sit alone, and drink alone.  Do we all want to be alone? 
Right now, I do.  I think of the hungry need awaiting me at home.  Then I think, ‘wouldn’t I rather have it that way?’  To go back to a home full of people who need me and love me?  Rather than to an empty home.
A man takes a break from his computer to ask me if I can get on the internet, I tell him I don’t even try.  I’ve retreated to this shop to write, to take a break from the wasteland of the internet.  An attitude that I have that I have realized is rare, the need to unplug, to stop ingesting.  The need to rest, and the need to create, to push out the thoughts in my mind rather than watch viral videos or read the opinions of people who think themselves important.
I wonder about that man again, does he go home to a house full of people?  Or does he come here just to see people?  Why do we end up alone when we’re old?  How does that happen?
Maybe I need to enjoy this time of life, the little ones that cling, the little ones that need.  Several times in the past few days I have thought, ‘I can see how people get addicted to this.’  How they have baby after baby.  In some ways it’s nice to be needed, to supersede yourself into their needs, to forget your own ambition because there are dishes to be washed and tables to be dusted.  I hold onto personal ambition, it would be so simple to let go.
I want to ask that man, what have you learned?  What’s important?  Are we important?  Are the babies important? 
I wonder what he thinks of all this?

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