Bookmark #196

I’ve often told people I dreamt of a café. I saw an old man quietly making coffee in a quaint wooden building. I saw him smile a lot but not at anything in particular. For as long as I can look back, the café on the misty hill has been a pipe dream. I never gave much thought to how I’d reach there but I always thought I’d know when I’d know.

I saw myself sharing laughter with strangers as they’d thank me for the surprisingly good cup of joe. Then, retiring to my chambers at night, I’d make my way around the small quarters, and sit down with a book or some music, old and tired and slightly bitter. But again, not at anything in particular, just a sort of minute bitterness that comes with age, I suppose. I saw myself at peace with my slight dejectedness, with all that I once had, and all that I left behind to reach my café on that cold, wintry hill. I’d watch myself sit and sleep in my chair facing the glass window. I’d watch myself wake up to the brightest sunrise possible.

You see, it had never been about the café or me leaving everything behind. It had always been about the blinding sunrise I once happened to witness. It was white, blank, and it stirred something in me that I, for the life of me, cannot understand. It taught me how to laugh again; it was a much-needed lesson, too, for I was an inch away from the ledge. As it pushed me far away from it, I learnt to laugh louder. Eventually, though, the brunt of life echoed over me, and so I knew I had to find it again and for that: the café and the old man.

I always believed that there was a hill, not where I first saw the sunrise in particular, but that there was a hill somewhere in the world where the sun always rose the same way: dazzling, spreading this infinite blankness on everything, making me blind for a full minute or so until I could see everything I couldn’t before. Lately, though, I find myself laughing as I walk around town. I don’t see the old man anymore. I don’t see the café either. I can’t see anything at all.

Lately, I can feel that sun everywhere. The light is blinding. Your light is blinding. It’s blinding, but oh, so warm; love, I can’t see cold winters anymore.