Tag Archives: faith

Each as they want, choose or feel forced to do.

Vehicles carrying animal and human lives line up at the junction of two major roads. They are in a staggered row, depending on each driver’s anxiousness or impassiveness to get going as soon as the light changes. The drivers lean back in their seats and spit to the side.

There, each person is doing as he or she chooses, wants, knows, thinks or has done before. They are at an intersection on the road, at an intersection and crossroads in life.


In one rickshaw is farmer and his son and their goat. They live in a dairy colony in Gurgaon but had gone to collect their goat from Bombay central, first arguing with a taxi wala and then rickshaw wala.

“My rickshaw is new,” complained their present driver. He was uneasy to pollute his brand new rickshaw with the smell of a dirty goat, at least not so soon! But was won over by a bribe. He, like those dyeing fabrics in Dharavi or those folding paan leaves in Mahalaxmi, is doing what he has been born into.


A child pushed a miniature merry-go-round made for children between a rickshaw and a cab, leaning with the whole of his weight and all of his skinny self to make it move. The paint was chipping off of the merry go-round: its colours were faded and the whole thing was not as joyful and fun-looking as it was originally intended to be.

The little boy is doing the only thing that he knows how to do, except for also being able to curse back at the rickshaw walas who curse at him for cutting them off. He came voiceless to Mumbai four years ago from a village in another state, but now his Bombaiyya Hindi is perfect.


In one taxi is a gaggle of Bandra babes, girls going out on the town. They laugh and pass around an illicit cigarette. The driver eyes their bare legs from his mirror as the cab jerks to a pause. The girls are too drunk on their beautiful young lives to notice.

They are doing what they want. How delicious.


A Sunni Muslim man sits on a motorcycle next to the cab. Behind him and sideways is his wife, peering at the world through heavily-lidded, kajal lined eyes. She’s hiding every lovely part of herself except for these eyes, and these she shows off.

Her sisters are more like the girls in the taxi, dressing modestly at home but sneaking off to flirt with older boys on the weekends. But for this married woman, honoring the tenements of her faith is more freeing than skirts or blouses could be. She is doing what she chooses to do.


An elderly couple stands at the curb beside the rickshaw with the goat, waiting to cross the street. Sir has placed his cane in front of Mam to prevent her from being too close to the traffic.

Mam’s fingers smell like the cilantro she rubbed between them at the market. She’s carrying a bag of ripe tomatoes and onions, unperturbed by the alarming price increase.

Sir was born in another time and place, slept by the highway and worked in tea stalls before succeeding in his entrepreneurship. No reason to have servants, to do everything differently now that things are different, he reasons. And so still, he walks to and from the market with his wife every evening to select the vegetables that she will cook for dinner. He thanks god that he does not have to worry about onion prices, that actually there is very little he has to worry about anymore. They together are doing as they always have done.


When the light finally changes everyone moves forth: some are faster than others to gun their engines (having had more opportunity or inspiration) and some slower, but each does move ahead.

All except for an orange tabby cat that is rust-coloured with dust. She had been wandering in front of the vehicles until the engines roared to life again. She jumped and hightailed it to a place on the roadside where there was a very pleasant texture of ground: round pebbles in soft dust. Rather than running the race with the others, she’d rather roll over there to scratch her sides.

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in between

An Indian consulate is a fascinating place. It’s like a circus without animals and without a master of ceremonies. Everyone is performing, something, but they don’t know why, and they don’t know who they are following.


At the Indian consulate, I received my visa on a friday, on my third visit to the consulate that day. At first, I did not go at the right time. Then, there were too many people, whole Punjabi families, and I had another appointment. I was advised to come back in the evening by the doorman who i have gotten to know so well.

Is baar mujhe MIL JAEGA ye visa!’ I joked with him, laughing instead of crying with anxiety.In the evening, the crowd had not diminished in the least. I waited, waited, and picked up my visa at the counter after a woman rifled through the filing box, after a man could not find it.

A little girl, waiting with her family for their PIO cards, ate a syrupy jamun from a sweetbox and tasted honey on her tongue.


At home, I woke up and slept without a plan. For today, for tomorrow. Sun came through snow-covered branches, through my window, and fell on my bed where I was.

Tentative friends asked me to come to this event or party, or even just to come over for tea, on whatever day. Tentative, I agreed, because it’s not like I had any other plan planned. But I shouldn’t have said I’d be there, because those days my moods couldn’t be counted on. My desires and energy levels couldn’t be depended on. I should have known that I could not be depended on, should have stopped saying that I may come here or there when it may happen that I stay home.

Days assumed a structure. I woke with parents to eat breakfast. Then, they run off to work, or, on the weekends, outside for yard work. It was saturday morning at 8:45, and dad went out to shovel snow off the walkway. I was up by 7:30, rushing out of bed for no reason.

So my dad shovels the snow, and I am languid on the couch. In repose. Having nothing pressing to do, I am not pressed. My same body that was once so active, frantic in its obsession to keep moving, is now content to rest against cushions, or roll around on beautiful heated hardwood floor.

In Bombay, I’d have left the house in the morning while everyone was asleep, and then have come back at night when everyone was asleep, slipping my flats off at the door and tiptoeing to my room. I ran around then, and lie around now.

How rich and at ease am I.


On a sunday in the pre-departure area, people were waiting to go to Hong Kong. Wealthy Punjabis and Chinese were nursing their infants and eating A&W french fries and starbucks lattes.

All of the airport-waiting people are addressed over the loudspeaker in English and Mandarin. Everyone speaks in a hum, hmm, the flight is delayed. Hmm, what does it mean for our connecting flights.

The Punjabi men looked smart and prepared. Shined shoes, trousers, sweater vests under sports coats, neatly-wrapped turbans. Some of the women already wore beautiful Indian finery, with heavy cardigans and wool shawls on top, chiffon dupattas draped over their greying braids. Some will change later, shimmying out of their tracksuits in the tiny airplane bathroom to change into beautiful salwar kameez, to greet their families once they reach Delhi or Amritsar or whatever their final destination is.

One man was becoming fed up. Others had left their bags in the seats across from him, and then went off to buy skittles and a magazine. So then, the man was half-heartedly defending these people from otherswho wanted those seats; it is crowded; this is unfair.

The man was anxious, when would they come back? Where does his loyalty lie? After all, he doesn’t know any of these people!


Getting ready for Christmas?” smiles a tentative acquaintance when we notice one another in a cafe.

Yes, I am! And you?” I trill, not feeling to explain that I won’t be here for Christmas, where I am going, for me, Christmas will not really happen. Why won’t Christmas really happen? Because. Why don’t I feel to explain? Because.

I may have tentative plans for the day that involve a long walk, many errands, writing a letter or an article, and end up spending the day in a cafe simply sitting and watching life. Or watching life from an even safer perch, through the window in the front room.

I may have tentative plans to recline all day and dream, and then get up and run six kilometres, and then come home and empty the dishwasher and prepare an elaborate dinner, just because.

Because of this incongruency between plans and outcomes, I do not make so many plans and just allow a natural deroulement of events.

Every fifteen seconds, someone enters the cafe, cracking the door and bringing a breeze. Everyone inside wears their coats and scarves, and their fingers, tapping on keyboards, are ice cold.


I am the richest person in the world in Bombay.

I had forgotten how beautiful this place is. In the way the light falls, the cars rock back and forth as they inch forward and avoid hitting the people, rushing between vehicles like fish in different currents.

I have never in my life seen such a will to live, not only live, but thrive and continue and love, against all odds.

There was one woman in the street who was only flesh and bone. She maybe weighed all of eighty eight pounds, but she carried a load of fifty pounds. Maybe for hours. When she puts down that load, she will pick up another: that of caring for her full family.

My relationship towards life has never been so tumultuous. I have never loved the world so much, never felt so angry towards it, so worried, inspired, or so cared for. I have never been as beautiful, as ugly as I have been here. There is no other place in the world where there is so much faith, and so much faith misplaced.


On cambie street bridge, I savour tidbits of conversation with strangers, as they feel like whole meals. The only sustenance I have in terms of understanding, of recognition. With a stranger, you cannot take as much, but you also do not owe as much. Yet. While neither here or there or anywhere, what a relief to talk to someone new : who doesn’t know you, doesn’t expect anything from you. You don’t have to explain life or circumstances to a stranger : thank goodness, because you might not understand any of it yourself!


In the plane, it was dark and everyone watched movies. Someone opened a window and the light came in from outside the plane, a shock of whiteness, brightness.

When the power for the Tvs failed, everyone was struck by not being able to know had many hours had elapsed, how many hours were left. In the flight, or in life.

A dad told his little boy,

If you could run as fast as the plane goes before it takes off, you would be able to fly, too.”

The babies that were crying have settled. The toddlers that were running up and down light-studded aisles are asleep, tousled hair falling on their mother’s shoulders as they lean. Everyone slept and the creases in their faces were softened by the gentle yellow light. Everyone appeared younger and more tired than they really were.

Vishal is Maharashtrian, an HSBC information security manager, and a community centre cardio classes afficionado. He told me,

‘Only the people who have dreams can go to Bombay.’

‘There is a lot waiting for me there,’ I confided in him, ‘And now… I am coming.’


From Bronwyn, to Bombay : “It is only I who love you, insanely.”

First off, I will not say ‘Mumbai meri jaan,’ because we both know that I am yours.

I have been away from you for too long!

You didn’t notice when I left, you were preoccupied with other things. At the very moment that I swung my bag into the overhead compartment on a London-bound plane, there were teenage lovers kissing in Phoenix Mills. A birdwala was feeding his peacock-coloured sparrows in Crawford market. In an expensive old building near Nariman point, a family had gathered to watch as a Brahmin baby took his first steps.

My leaving was no different from these happenings, and all of the other happenings in your spaces at that time.


You didn’t notice when I left, and you will not remark when I come back. Anyways, someone is always coming or going from Bombay. How many come and go and stay every day?

You welcome everyone. You don’t care what their last name is, how fair-skinned they are, or what scandals are in their family history. You don’t care if they come empty or full, lost or found, thank goodness! If you discriminated like some places do, most of us would not be able to come at all.


I will stay in your spaces and won’t make a mark on you, but you will more than mark me! You will define me. And now I come to you again, to try my luck at life. Like so many have done and like so many will do.

They come for money, for protection, for opportunity. For a name, for anonymity. You don’t know their names; they make no difference to you. But you give each what she or he comes for. As quickly as they can receive, you give. In hope, in money, in happiness, in children, in rain, in whatever else could be desired or expected or wished for.


You, Mumba Devi, are a goddess. But you make us humans feel as though we could do anything! And this is what makes you so powerful. You do not offer equality or even respect, but you do offer hope and opportunity, unlimitedly.

You are so beautiful and give so freely, but, no other place has been known to demand so much.

In Taslima Nasreen’s book ‘French Lover’, a French man says to his Indian lover Nila:

You do not love me. It is only I who love you, insanely.”

How many slaps in the face have I taken from you, from your officers, your people in charge! But I come back to it every time!


I have been turned down at the visa office, discouraged at the consulate, delayed at the airport. Every force that you have tries to drive me away from you, but still I am stubborn, and I manage to find my way to you.

So able and so fiercely independent, I have never been in a relationship as unfair as ours. And how funny it is that you so encourage and celebrate all of those qualities in me, and yet push me away so much!

But I am your devoted lover, and I feel that you don’t mean it. So I will forgive your hurtful words:

The visawala, when he said ‘You have no option. We cannot grant you a visa on any basis.’

The doorman, when he said ‘You will have to come back again. (and again, and again…)

The university, when they said ‘It will take a lot of time to gather everyone into a meeting, maybe next month.’


I am dedicated to you, and you are passionless towards me.

I say “I love you” and you say “I don’t care… but yes, you can stay here.”

You say take it or leave it, and we take it.

I have a lot of hope.


You, Bombay, are not created by your people! They are created by you. And now that you have beaten everything out of me by not allowing me to come to you, I am an empty cup. And now that you will finally allow me to come to you, I am running towards you like a maniac to drink water.

I will forgive you, and every force that kept me from you. And I will run into your arms. And this time I am confident that you will receive me, with as much love as I have for you, if even just for a moment… because I (and everyone else in any unfair relationship) live for that moment.

Because the dreams that you offer to me are worth more than any amount of time, money, anguish or difficulty that it takes to get me to you.

Yours faithfully, in love,

Bronwyn



Skinny jeans and runners; dupattas and wind and rain

There is a baby wearing skinny jeans on her fat legs. Sausages stuffed into denim. And little puma runners on her puffy, soft feet. How inappropriate.


She is rocked to calmness on her mom’s swaying hip. Mom also wears matching skinny jeans and runners: she dressed her baby as herself as a pleasant surprise to the rest of her Moms Group. She’s eating salad that she bought for 1.39/100 grams from an organic grocery store. Out of a compostable container, with a biodegradable fork made of corn.

She chats about the goddamn weather with another woman, then covers her mouth. She tries not to use curse words when her infant is listening.

The other woman laughs, nods, holds her own baby, a little boy about the same age as the other one with the sausage legs.

His neck is practicing holding up that heavy head, those weighty cheeks. It takes a lot of work, but he is patient and revels in each success and new independence that he gains.

Baby frowns, becoming frustrated because he wants to sneeze but his sneeze won’t come. He is too young to reason about why he feels as he does. He doesn’t even know why he is frustrated, but anyone watching can guess.


On the other side of the world, there is a baby wearing nothing on her thin legs. And no footwear on her already-hardened feet. How inappropriate.


Baby is rocked to calmness on her mom’s swaying hip, listening to the jingling of aunty’s ankelets as she sweeps outside their home. Watching her cousins drawing their dreams in the dust with sticks.

Until wind lifts the dust and their dreams into the air, and everyone shrieks and wraps their dupattas around their faces to filter the air, and runs indoors. Dust dances in the thick air through a thin sheet that separates inside the house from outside.

Until rain starts and beats the dust into the ground. It starts light, then comes heavy. Not only smothering the dust that was in the air, but pulling and tearing up the packed dirt that was patted so firmly by so many human feet, including baby’s.

The cousins shriek again, for a different reason, and tear out of the home into the downpour. Mom doesn’t have the energy to stop them, and also has a little bit of delight in her chest. She stands with Aunty in the doorway, beneath a ledge, watching the girls grip one anothers’ hands and spin in a circle. Their braids fly and water runs down their faces, shining their gold noserings. Their dresses are soaked through as their brown feet stamp up brown mud.

Baby waves her hands and legs, trying to also dance or be more involved. But she’s also happy to watch from mom’s hip.

A leak in the ledge allows a little bit of water through, and it starts to stream onto the part in Mom’s hair. Mom steps back out of the way, so that the stream is in front of baby.

This is the most marvelous thing that baby has ever seen. She has almost no memory of things she’s seen before, so everything is exciting, especially this stream of light and water that is happening right in front of her. Baby waves her hands and touches it, while the cousins continue to dance. And the only sound is of rain smashing into tin roofs.


anything could be happening at once

This day was over for me before it began for you, he says, addressing a girl through a computer screen.

She talks with him, someone far away that she cares for, because it brings a sense of hope and wonder. He talks with her, someone far away that he cares for, because it brings a sense of calm and security. Then, he wishes her a good day, and she him a good night. Then, he goes off into deep sleep (into his good night) and she goes off reassured, but hesitating to have her good day.


Anything could be happening at once. Everything could be happening at once, and it is. All over the world, people do different things for the same reasons, and the same things for different reasons. It just depends.


In Vancouver, kids attend a jumpstart preschool program at a community centre in their neighbourhood. They sit watching a Baby Einstein video, sucking on their fingers. They have popular names like Ava and Madison.

In Mumbai, toddlers sit in a circle in a preschool built by an NGO on the construction site they live on. A teacher enlists one boy to help her distribute stainless steel bowls, a healthy snack of chana and curry leaves. Repeating in English ‘one bowl, one friend.’ The kids smile as they receive their snacks, and wait for prayer before they eat. They have Sanskrit names like Pragati, progress, and Mayuri, peacock.


In New York, students might trek through the snow in winter to get to a coffeeshop. Inside, more people sit at a row of tables. Each has a laptop: if the lights went out, you would only see a row of lit-up apples. They also have some cell phone, some mp3 player, some sort of coffee. Having felt like they are a part of this community, they sit down to get work done.

On Panama’s west coast, lean-muscled fishermen haul boats out of the north pacific ocean and separate their catch into different pails depending on the size of fish. Then they sit on logs and smoke cheap cigarettes and laugh. Having gotten work done, they now feel they are part of a community.

Someone might speak, and another might avoid speaking, to exactly the same end. It would depend.


A man might shout and it would be for threat or warning.

A child might shout and it would be for anguish or uncertainty.

A woman might shout and it would be for a song.

It would depend.


In Canada, an Indian girl might dance sexy in a nightclub because it is her perogative, it is fun, and she feels like it. In these moments she loves her life the most.

In India, a Russian girl might dance sexy in a nightclub because she is being paid to do so. In these moments, she doesn’t feel much. It’s not fun, but not bad, but not good either. It’s nothing, it’s just a job.


In Paris, two lovers might might come to know each other without words. Through their two month relationship, they have mostly known one another through physical closeness. The young man wants more than this arrangement. What an assumption to make, he considers, that because you came close to someone’s body you had come to know something about them.

In Varanasi, two lovers might come to know each other without touch. Throughout the length of their nearly three years together, they have only been able to steal six kisses. The young woman wants more than this arrangement, but is anguish over these feelings. How can she assume to know him having never known this other part of him? She wishes to feel that this should be enough, but doesn’t actually feel that way.

The French lovers come close to one another because in that way, they love each other.

The Indian lovers stay distant from one another, rather than risking all that they have built, because in that way, they love each other.

Someone might touch, and another might not, to achieve the same result. It would depend.


In Delhi, a man in a suit stays in a glass building all day on the phone, because in this way, he earns money. He thinks this about money: aaj hai, kal nahi, phir a jaega do din ke baad.

In Jakarta, a man in a sand-stained shirt and shorts toils in the sun all day on the reconstruction of a Mosque. Because in this way, he earns money. He doesn’t think about money so much.


A man has moved across the United States from one city to another. He came to this new place by choice, encouraged by his family to go. He might be falling asleep in an enormous bed, in an enormous room. With one leg falling over a pillow, and thrashing searching arms, it is obvious that he is unused to sleeping alone. He speaks into silence, asking his god why.

A girl has moved across India from a village to a big city. She came to this new place by force, stolen from her family. She might be falling asleep on a lumpy mattress on the second floor of a brothel in Mumbai’s red light district. She speaks into a cacaphony of car horns and fuzzy old love songs, thanking her god that tonight she is sleeping alone.


grateful

On November second, I am still in Vancouver and not Mumbai. Kya baat hai. As much as I can think that things are going wrong though, they can never really go wrong.

Today it’s sunny and beautiful and 14 degrees outside. Some leaves lie crunchy on sidewalks, others (that had fallen a longer time ago) are reduced to paste mixed with rain. Ground into cement by shoes and the elements, like a paste of cilantro, green chillies and garlic ground into a board by a woman’s marble rolling pin.

The person whose shoes helped crush the leaves into the sidewalk could have been walking his dog on a foggy morning, tugging at the leash as the dog sprang to chase squirrels who were roaming through dew-laden grass. He could have gone home and wiped his dog’s muddy paws on an old towel on the porch before going inside to have a bagel and read the newspaper.

The person who made the cilantro paste to be thrown into hot oil could be the wife of any man in India. She might have tucked her long sari pallu into her petticoat at her waist and squatted to grind spices between marble and wood. Afterwards, she might have mixed atta with water for chapati, and then gone outside to pull the clothes off the clothesline.


Even on the nicest day, people in Vancouver are inside shopping malls, looking incessantly for something they’ve been convinced that they need. I know, because I am also there in a rush to get everything I need before I leave. Where the rush is, I don’t know, because as of now I’m not staying here or going there or anything.

In Mumbai, people are pushed by the same mentality to buy different things.

Anyone and everyone can be found in a mall in Vancouver: Vietnamese teen girls, whole Arabic families (veiled wives pushing strollers with dark-haired sons) hipsters, hippies.

Those shopping might very well be daughters in a lower-income family, spending the day at the mall because it is fun for free. They might have text messaged friends to come and meet them there. They could have tried on clothes made in China from the sale rack in a shop, and taken pouting pictures of themselves in the changeroom’s mirror.

Those in Mumbai could be upper class ladies, shopping for saris at a shop near Crawford market. They may have sat drinking tea while the salesboy wrapped himself in zardozi-embroidered saris to model them. One sari is worth more than the salary he receives in two years. The women might have fluttered their hands in discussion over which draping style and jewellery would be most appropriate for the upcoming event before leaving the shop and enjoying dahi puri in the street.


Since leaving the hospital after the typhoid bacteria to left my body, I’ve been walking and running around the city, and eating avocado sushi and sprouted bread, and so regaining strength. At night I sleep more deeply than I ever did in Mumbai, sleep re-wrapping the unravelled ball of wool that is my health.

In Mumbai, a labourer would also sleep as deeply, because he has worked so hard during the day. He could as easily be a family man with four children as he could be a bachelor. As a bachelor, he might sleep on the edge of an eight foot wall lining the road, underneath an overpass. He has two feet of wall width on which he can toss and turn, so doesn’t move so much in his slumber. As dawn curls its rose fingers underneath the overpass, he scratches his stomach and keeps his eyes shut even as he is awake, savouring the last moment of rest for the next sixteen hours.

The person sleeping so deeply in the night is me. In the safety and warmth of my family home, I have my own room. The whole house is heated uniformly, through the floors. The blinds on the windows are specially designed to block out all light: no rose-coloured dawn fingers curling around them.

The labourer labours because he has no option. I run and swim to expend my energy and build my muscles because I am rich enough to have the time and energy to do so. I can do anything I want; who else can I say that for.


As much as I feel I would love to run back to Mumbai, maybe, just maybe, things are as they are because it is how they must be.

(One would think that I should have learned this by now, but like most people, I have a tendency to avoid learning the things that allow more wellness and less worry into life)

Maybe I need this time: to learn to live with uncertainty and realise that while things could always be more perfect, they will never be bad. To remember that I have been born into a life is so beautiful that every place I go will welcome me: that wherever I run, and whenever I have to pause, I will be relentlessly pursued by blessings of all kinds.




the neighbourhood cafe

In a Starbucks on Cambie, a moms meeting is happening. The moms, weary and disheveled, work on knitting projects or breastfeed their infants and talk about neighbourhood issues. One has something deeper on her mind, her husband recently started taking longer hours at the office. She’s anxious. He is not so demonstrative as he’s always been, a little tighter-lipped. She is sure that she used to know him but is not so sure now, what to do.


Their kids, equally disheveled but more energetic, wear brighter clothes and rubber boots. They shout and romp around the indoor playground of the cafe. One boy has an older brother who is at home less and less. The little boy feels something from this, but doesn’t know how to consider where his feelings are from. As he grows older, he will come to know that the world is both more beautiful and more ugly than he thought before.This is a sad thing, and a happy thing, depending on your opinion.


One of the more assertive young people working behind the counter requests that the kids don’t climb on the furniture. Wiping a counter with a grey cloth, she thinks about what she’ll do after this job: go back to school or get another? The rent she pays is too high to quit before finding another job, so she is a little bit stuck.

It’s raining outside and everyone leaves their umbrellas at the door and drapes their wet coats over the backs of chairs.


Students come in the morning to settle in for the day, in skirts, tights, big sweaters. Hair wrapped in messy buns with strays falling out. They occupy space, spreading textbooks and notes and ipods and blackberries over multiple table surfaces. They allow themselves to be interrupted by constant text messages. One girl flirts with a stranger on her facebook page, enjoying the distraction from her term paper but unsure about the guy. She likes him liking her, his attention for her, but why? Does he even really like her?


Some corporate people are also meeting here, arriving within a few minutes of one another and joking about office politics. One man is distracted today, had a hard time dragging himself from his bed to this meeting even though he doesn’t live far. It’s been a few months since he moved to take this job, and he worries about being away from his young family.


They all drink different drinks: some ladies have re-committed themselves to their diets and are having skinny lattes, while others have re-committed to pleasure in life and are having whole milk mochas. One of them recently read an article in a free magazine from a health food store that said what you THINK about the food you eat is more important than the food you eat. So she thinks, life is short, and anyways real women enjoy their food. So she slurps her mocha. Mmm.


Others are people who would like to be as alone as I am, and so are sitting at tables with their computers or listening to music,everything except for being involved with what else is going on in the cafe. I am only apparently uninvolved, but only actually half involved. Only observing and thinking about my neighbour as opposed to interacting with him or her.


The odd Philipino nanny with infinite patience comes in with the double stroller ferrying caucasian kids. She hushes the little ones in her care and picks up a kilo of ground coffee for the household she works for. Older couples clad in gore-tex come in to pick up lattes and continue on their walk under a wide umbrella.


A couple of young men sit at the window, watching girls that walk by. A couple of girls walk by and look into the window, to see if there’s anyone of interest. Both young women and men (who may be just coming into the cafe to see who might be inside) come inside. Their eyes fall on each person at each table, and sometimes linger if there’s a response. The people attached to the eyes that met will then follow one anothers’ actions and exchange a couple more glances while one waits around for the coffee. Once your coffee is ready though, if you aren’t going to sit down, then what other business do you have in a coffee shop? So they will exchange a last glance before the one who came in helplessly walks out. Maybe he or she will go home and post a missed connection in the local online personals, in hopes of connecting there instead of in person.


One man with a broad back sits looking out the window and aching with all of himself, missing someone that he hasn’t met yet.

An elderly woman fills in her daily crossword puzzle and only looks up and through the window occasionally. As though just to check if everything in her world is the same as she left it when she looked down to focus on the words.

One of the kid clan that is there with their moms, a little girl, presses her wet nose against the same window further down. Just to watch the rain outside.


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