It’s 74 degrees. I’ve been waiting for this weather. You’d think a Texan would be accustomed to heat, which I am, but I’m not accustomed to actually walking in the heat. Bathing in the heat. Sweating in the heat. Tones of the Sahara has now been coaxed out of my skin and I’m embracing long hidden melanin. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have the pale cast of sunless hospital halls, but I’m welcoming this sand.
A man sat by me on the subway and pulled out a velvet square cardboard stage, on it placed three bottle caps. With swift movements of his hands, he starts moving the caps. It’s a shell game, he starts entertaining everyone in the vicinity with his agility, and I close my book and watch. I know where the ball is but I don’t say a thing, and he announces he’d give a hundred bucks to whoever can tell him where it is. This has piqued interest of a man at the far end, who wins the hundred. They play on. When asked to join, I laugh and say neither do I have a hundred bucks to match their bet nor do I gamble, this is a holy day. By the time I leave, instead of gaining a hundred, the man at the far end is now down three. There’s a man to the side of me observing, he’s simultaneously disapproving and in awe, says we’re witnessing a dying art. He once saw a woman lose her grocery store money, a young child on her hip. Greed can be dangerous, he said, but we’re witnessing a dying art nonetheless.
I get off the subway and make it out into the sunny world. A man shouts “beehive!” at me as I cross the street. I think he was trying to sting me but instead I laugh, because I can be as sweet as honey. And if I were a beehive, I’d certainly be the Queen.
By now I’m passing a Seven Eleven. They’re blasting classical music from the outside. It doesn’t match the scene, and seems forced, but it pulled me back into yesterday, listening to Bach’s Chaconne, enveloped in the melody of a veracious violin. I closed my eyes and felt the vibrating of the strings as if the bow danced on my chordae tendineae. I am finding beauty here, everywhere.
I’m now finally here, sitting outside, sipping coffee in a simple cup. The coffee, I hear, is from Portland. I’m writing the stories that have been asking to be written from the moment I felt the cool air touch my skin. In class I read an article on storytelling. The author argued the beauty in storytelling lies in deciphering our morals within them. Some of the stories I write don’t have explicit lessons or morals. I hear that people still find themselves within them.
Yet another man is sitting by me. He is staring to the sky. Silently thinking, sipping on coffee. He is deep in thought. He is cherishing this moment of solitude.
I wonder too, what stories he’s writing.