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I know her to see her

The girl in the coffee shop is beautiful, serene in her loveliness.  I am not wrong in admiring her in the mornings, allowing her brighten part of my day.  Turning from a glimpse of her I can stir my cup, read my paper, glimpse instead a more distant world.

Every morning she sips her Latte, absorbed in the beginning of her own day.

So it continues. Unknown to her she brings a smile to me each day.  I came to count her part of my day, someone I know, as they say here, “to see them.”

Time passes, new staff come and go.  The regular customers remain the same. There are  those who say “good morning,” followed by my name, those who say “morning” and no more and those who say nothing, but I know them to see them.

That’s how we are and if I think about it, I am part of the ritual of someone else’s day, as they are part of the ritual of mine.

The girl I think so cheeringly lovely comes and goes, as all the others do, but one morning, suddenly, she sheds quiet tears and I who thought I knew her don’t know why.

Both things are something of a shock.

Firstly, that a young person like her should be so troubled as to cry like that in public, in a place where she is known, at least to be seen.

Secondly, that after all, I do not know her.