Nero

It’s your favorite cafe. Chairs, couches, and tables are set around one big room. A high ceiling is surrounded by windows on two sides, and by concrete on the other two sides. It’s rectangular, which gives an illusion that the place is bigger than it really is. That’s why you like it, the openness hides you. There’s a big dining room table in the middle, made from a single slab of wood. The table is the centerpiece of the room, the length of it is perpendicular to the length of the room. It comforts you. The solid look and feel of it, the grooves and gashes worn into the top, and the warm feel of it make you feel safe. You always sit at one end, your back to the large window, occupying a third of the table. The chair to your right is occupied by your bags, and the one to the left is slightly pulled out and left empty. You never let anyone sit there, or take the chair. You say that it’s occupied. Books litter the table, and papers are strewn across them. Coffee rings highlight your favorite passages. Plates and silverware gather around you, but you long for a different kind of nourishment. You live for these encounters. It stirs something inside you. It’s what drives you to save a seat for me. Imagining all of these conversations, all of these musings that we share. Life is about the things that compel us, the people we know that make us arrange our words in a certain way. Like how you want me to be there, when I’m not. It’s at times like these, when you nervously rub your fingers against the table’s surface, that you realize that all the scars are my own. I’ve etched my words into the world, and the world caught fire.

3 comments

  1. Nadia

    I’d like to share something with you about her –
    She likes simplicity. That big wooden table would definitely have drawn her into the cafe – you depict her accurately. And although the openness of the room, its expansiveness obscures her from others who are pre-occupied with their cups of coffee and banter with friends – she hides further. It’s the oversized glasses perched on the bridge of her nose hiding her big brown eyes. It’s also her sheyla – she doesn’t have a definitive look, she let’s the folds of the material settle wherever they wish and secures it with a stick pin – she cares very little for trends, she prefers comfort. Her headscarf falls over her shoulders, she fiddles with the tassels as she contemplates over the fine grooves in the surface of the table. She slowly runs her fingers over the ridges and indentations – she reads it as if it were braille – deciphering a language only she understands.

    You notice some pages have darker coffee rings than others – she lingered on those pages longer, those precise words carried a greater depth. You look closer still and notice scribbles and folded corners – you want to know why. You long to read the notebook she holds dear. You especially want to read the words she scribbled out, she never erased them completely, nor tore out those pages.

    • You’ve done it again. This can’t be merely described as beautiful. It’s amazing. I love it. I love how you worked with what I wrote, yet you were still able to add your own touch to it. it’s like I wrote an amazing song, and you crancked up the volume.

      Would you mind if I posted your comment, as a response from the muse to what I wrote?

      • Nadia

        The intention was for it to be exactly as you stated – I’m glad it came across that way. And ofcourse you may post it – feel free to do with it what you please.

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