My camouflage backpack and I were headed back to the library. The space and I were having a love affair. Or maybe I was in love with what it all was awakening within me. My curiosity was piqued by the way each room exposed a different nuance, like the mysterious way pieces of personalities reveal themselves.
A tryst between the parts within, and without.
Me in woolens, leather, grey boots and finger-less gloves, the deferring poetic complementary counterparts of a January winter’s outdoor marble, brick, and archways.
Friends were going to the Zoo, I said I couldn’t. I had been a truant the day before, so now I had work to do. At times my own best boss, and at others, my own worst employee.
I ran into them in the entryway. Something had come up about the gym they all go to. I said my sister’s ex-boyfriend was a trainer there. And a good one.
On the way, I stopped back into the same place I had breakfast. Still drinking the iced green tea from that morning, its liquid contents lukewarm in the plastic cup.
I was upfront about my repeat performance. Somewhat of an Elvis Presley tactic, I suppose—-the way he ate meatloaf for dinner for 6 months straight.
When I finally got to that looming literary jungle, I paused on the concrete steps. My backpack was the perfect accomplice in smuggling both sandwich and tea. In.
I had stood in that same doorway 7 months before in a flowing silver-blue bridesmaid dress. Illuminated by the wrought-iron lamp curving its way off the building as I anticipated the relief to come in making my way out into the embrace of that night.
I started to realize “my” place became fully tourist public property on weekends. The line in the bathroom wasn’t too long, and I balanced my black gloves between my knees as the hand-dryer and I tried to understand each other.
Outside, in the courtyard, the tone of silence echoed in the background, interrupted by the way wind dances around the tops of tall buildings, back-lit by the rumble of airplanes. While bird’s chirped and sirens sounded in the distance. A city’s Saturday.
Lush green ivy languidly lay across the ground, respectful of the geometric boundaries laid out for it.
The wrought-iron tables around me became empty as people and voices moved, held softly within pillars and marble. Some going inside. Others moving out.
But before I was alone, I looked over when I heard someone arriving at the table to my left. It was my sister’s ex-boyfriend. Wearing a grey woolen hat and pulling a leather journal out of his backpack.
And I felt myself soften as I thought about how none of us are all that very different.