Teeming with passengers. Awaiting turbo charged chariots. Language, tradition, costume, religion, food. Passports. A diversity explosion. Worldwide destinations. Places I’ve never heard of.
Diapers and strollers, mingling with Blackberries and briefcases. Business and pleasure early in the day.
Sitting at La Giraffe. Breakfast before a flight to Washington, D.C. to catch a flight for Boston. To grab a cab for a hotel. A day on wings and wheels.
I watch motion play in front of me as I would a movie. There are people everywhere but they don’t touch me. They don’t find me. They don’t know me. They are moving pictures.
A server comes to my table, bright smile, wide awake. Attached to her life, inside her body. Not on the way somewhere, instead she has arrived. On a mission. Asks me what I want. Oatmeal, please. Can you make a cappuccino? Certainly, she answers. Thanks me and disappears.
Booths and tables fill with people. I try to identify countries of origin. Languages and dialects spoken. A word here or there. While fresh faced servers scramble from table to table furnishing menus, offering coffee and tea, passing water, providing something. Something similar to a safe place to light, to ease burdens while waiting to board, and claim territory on crowded flights in endless skies.
Courier with twinkling eyes returns to deliver cup and saucer. A perfect cappuccino comes my way. Foam is dense, and dreamy, and silky, and white. And drawn in the dark and light of coffee and cream is a milky white heart. Edges vague and dissolving into creamy foam. Is this an illusion?
Who spends time creating beauty in coffee? A man, or a woman? Young, or old? Part time gig while going to school? Or, a last one, semi-retired, doing it his way for four hours a day?
A daily grind? Or, a lark and a laugh? Saving just a few more pounds for a journey--west? Sending people packing with a final, single memory of good wishes drawn on a dreamy, creamy cup of coffee.
I hold the bowl in two cupped hands. Gingerly sip at the fringe, rotating the vessel as I drink, to keep the filmy apparition at the center. How much might I consume without disrupting the heart? Someone’s attentive art to an unknown waiting for a plane. Is it possible to be so careful that when I’m finished it will lie undisturbed on the bottom of the bowl so I can return to sender?
Thank you, Stranger.
Alone, before 6AM in a crowded terminal in London, awaiting my hectic, homesick day, you sent me off with a gift of your craft and your attention. You sent an anonymous love note into an anonymous world.