I sat down today at my table next to a black man who was sitting at his.

I hadn’t the energy to look up and greet my new neighbor as I normally would.

My wide brimmed black hat acted as a societal shield; eyes hidden from view.

The temperature is 33′ and snow fluffed its way down on my exposed roll to town.  It is almost June.  I dressed optimistically and my nerves are all trying to pull as deeply into the far recesses of my interior as I realize my sensorial receptivity with MS is far more acute than regular folks.

I keep my compass tuned to “normal” until something like this temperature assault reminds me otherwise.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC kept me company at my table as I apologized to emma for the putrid weather.

I couldn’t warm.

Been out of pain pills 3 days now.

Jaggedy and generally a mess I just wasn’t friendly to anyone including self.

The black man sat stoically with no apparatus or book to hide in.

I snuck looks from under my hat.

He was so still and quiet; somewhat worn but did not exude suffering or need.

I eventually found  a passible body position and  my flesh moved into borderline warm.

Heartbeat slowed and my nerves smoothed.

Hat brim remained dropped insuring seclusion.

I kept feeling the stillness of the man next door.

He was far more interesting to me than reading about fossils or climate change but I stealthily kept the ruse of reading going as I studied him.

Folks around us asked for entry codes to the restroom, settled crying babies and slurped while complaining about the snow.

Eventually, I collected myself and braved connection with the still man; “Would you like to look at this magazine?  I am heading out.”

I suddenly saw his weariness was really loneliness.  He pulled up his radiance and gave it to me as he said just a short: ” Yes, indeed. I would.”

That was all we had together.

But it changed us.

Once again..communion at Starbucks.



6 Responses to “Proximity”

  1. Adele on May 19th, 2017

    Cathy, you are such a cowgirl
    Heading out in the cold beautiful gentle snow of today
    The gifts are small and huge

  2. Barbara on May 19th, 2017

    “I suddenly saw…” Love it.

  3. Debra on May 20th, 2017

    This story warms my heart. Thanks for sharing your warmth.

  4. gerry harty on May 20th, 2017

    Oh Cathy this is your best yet! You had me every step of the way! I was wishing it was a book that I could read all day!!!xoxo

  5. Dennis Chamberlain on May 20th, 2017

    The warmth of Starbucks is so effectively conveyed in this nice piece. As always, I feel I was there with you. And something that is rarely commented upon by readers: I so enjoy your art – including the amazing variety.

  6. Shanti on May 22nd, 2017

    Love. Just love

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