The waitress at El Restaurante saw a significant customer. He was significant, because he looked nice, like he was part of the foreground rather than the background. She was not attracted to him. She just thought he looked pretty and important.
So, she took him very seriously and spoke in a serious (but friendly) way: “Hi, welcome to El Restaurante. Would you like today’s lunch special, or something off of the menu?” And so on. She also gave him a serious look before she left, as if she was saying “I got this, I’m a professional, so don’t worry about a thing.”
When she got back behind the counter to prep the order, she had doubts. Maybe she had been too serious? After all, even an important customer comes to El Restaurante to kick back an relax.
As she walked to his table with his drink, she was more relaxed and whimsical. Joyful? Happy-go-lucky? Bubbly? Words cannot describe. Should have sent a poet.
However, this was not right either. That night she would lie awake for a long time, thinking about the customer.
The customer, on the other hand, was not special, sophisticated, or important. He was in idiot, just like everybody else. And just like everybody else, faced with the miracle of human interaction amidst a universe that was vast and cold and dark, he was confused. He texted his buddy: “A waitress at El Restaurante was checking me out today.”
If you are reading this after I am dead, know I am not up there somewhere looking down on you. I am not on my knees worshiping the Lord. I am not in Heaven, eternally in bliss.
I am not in hell either, tormented by demons, of my separation from the creator.
I was alive and experienced great joy and great sorrow. But then I died and my whole self was extinguished.
I knew love, in that grey room with the rain outside, but warmth within. I was at peace sometimes. I was useless most of the time, as are we all.
I was not precious and worth preserving. I was not unique and valuable. I was just a realization of physical processes, and I lasted as long as I needed to last. Not a moment longer.
It is the end of the world, but there is no fire in the sky or people screaming. There is almost no fire anywhere and everyone is already dead or slowly dying.
Continue reading “The End of the World”
The front of the house was for normal things, like cars pulling up, and saying goodbye before going to work, or saying goodbye forever when she moved out and took the kids. It was part of normal life.
But the back of the house was a different story altogether. Continue reading “Behind the House”
That one night in Venice changed my life.
My laptop made the e-mail noise, so I lifted the lid and the ancient Venetian hotel room filled with bright light from the display. The unread e-mail was there, smack in the middle of the screen, waiting for me to read it, enticing me with the subject line. “You won’t believe it.”
Continue reading “Unexpected”