Lana shows up.
“May I sit here?” she asks. She sits down at my table in Movieing café before I manage to tell her that I’m writing. “I’ll drink a cup of coffee then I’ll leave,” she says and doesn’t stop talking.
Two hours and three cups of coffee later, she is still there, talking.
I put my laptop in its case.
“Leaving already?” she asks innocently.
“I have to write,” I reply.
She seems to regret taking my time. “This will not repeat itself,” she promises.
A couple of weeks later, I see her at Movieing again. “I won’t bother you today,” she announces. Yan, a man in his seventies, is sitting at a table next to mine. She sits at his table first; then she asks him if it’s OK.
“Sure,” he replies. She turns to me and starts to talk.
I put my laptop in its case.
“Don’t leave because of me,” she says. Yan’s friends have just arrived. She turns to them and talks endlessly.
I go to the park to meditate. It’s dark and deserted.
A man is yelling.
Turning around, I spot a couple walking at a small distance from me. The woman walks behind the man; head down, shoulders slumped, saying nothing. Then she sits on a bench. He is standing, facing her, yelling.
I walk towards them. “Hi, my name is Lilac,” I say in a friendly tone, “I just want to make sure you are OK.”
The man stops yelling. I stretch out my hand. He shakes it.
I turn to the woman. “Are you OK?”
“No,” she replies.
“Would you like me to sit here?”
I sit next to her. She holds my hand.
They seem to be in their mid to late twenties. He has soft eyes and a pleasant appearance. But maybe that’s true for serial killers as well. I remind him that men tend to be taller than women and have big voices. And that it can be intimidating. “You scared me when you were yelling.”
“You scared me too,” his girlfriend says.
“I’m sorry,” he says and sounds genuine. “I didn’t realize I was scaring you.”
“Then talk about your feelings instead of yelling. Tell, don’t show.” I’ve never thought I’d get to say the latter to anyone. He seems to like my idea. Then he asks his girlfriend if she is ready to leave. His tone is soft. She stands up.
I turn to her. “You don’t have to leave.”
“I know. But I feel much better now.” She smiles. “Thanks for your help.”
I go back to meditating. When I turn around, I see them leaving the park. Hugging and smiling, they are waving at me.
I try my luck at Movieing again. Lana is gone. I sit at table seven. A published author sits there during the day. It’s a sturdy corner table indoors, which ensures no interactions.
At least that’s what I thought.
Eddie shows up. “I saw you walking in.”
“I didn’t see you.” I say. “Sometimes I have my head in the clouds.”
“All of you is in the clouds.” He grins. “I’ll sit with you for a while.”
He opens his laptop and starts working.
At least he doesn’t talk.
“It’s after midnight,” he says at some point. “Let’s go.”
“I’ll stay a little longer.”
He looks disappointed.
He holds a bag with huge oranges from his parents’ village.
“That looks very heavy,” I say.
I don’t get his response.
Shortly after he leaves, I close my laptop lid. He left a huge orange for me behind it.
When I walk outside, the air is cold and fresh, and I hear loud and cheerful music. Then dozens of skaters dressed in colorful and bright clothes appear out of nowhere. They pass by me, rapidly.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in an Almodovar movie. Or making a guest appearance in a Coen brothers’ flick. Either way, the red carpet has never seemed closer.
You are brave.
Here, I cannot imagine approaching a couple like you did, without being terrified of becoming a victim. Be careful my friend. Don’t let you Angel wings get nipped by the fangs of someone else’s anger.
I worry about you.
Carolynn, please don’t worry about me, dearest!
Since I was a child, if someone was in trouble, she or he could count on me not to look the other way.
I’ve learned to trust my gut. And the beyond. If I sense that I should stay away from a situation, I’ll send good thoughts, blessings and love (besides calling the authorities).
Your caring heart moves me deeply, my precious friend! <3
I love all these interactions! You captured your frustrations of trying to write perfectly using minimal words, yet I could see it all in my mind so clearly! You have more patience than I, dear Lilac!
I too, like 2N’s was worried about you approaching that couple! I was afraid the girl and her friend were leaving and he would do something harmful to her after the fact…but, I’m jaded, most likely.
Your spirit is warm and lovely, and your writing is too.
Donna, it’s so good to have you here, my dear! 🙂 Your lovely and encouraging words delight me. Thank you so much!
What I love the most is to sit outdoors when it’s really late and less crowded at the cafe. Then I put my fingers on my laptop keyboard, and I feel that I could fly. But when people don’t let me write, it is frustrating. Many times I’ll just leave on the spot.
As for the couple from the park, I sense that something deep has happened in that interaction. I hope I’m right and it would lead to a positive change. Praying that she is OK! <3
The way you write about the interludes in your life makes me look forward to reading your fiction, Lilac.
Thank you so much, Diane! This means the world to me, coming from an amazing writer like you. I feel humbled and honored and can’t wait to read your fiction as well! <3