It’s Sunday evening in the first week of the hottest April. It’s too warm to sit outside; the air is still trying to forget the afternoon sun. The petals—of which there seems to be a plethora lately—move about in the dusty zephyrs of the city as if passengers on a train. I’m at the coffee shop I often write from, only today I sit inside looking out for a change. It’s a different point of view in so many ways. A family sits outside—a young couple with their little daughter and two dogs. The dogs run around in the grass and the marble playpen they’ve transformed the patio into. Something tells me they’ve been here before. The little girl runs between them laughing, her hands raised in nothing but an expression of joy. It’s something out of a film with no name. Sometimes, this is where we ought to be: out of the picture. This second-hand joy makes me realise how there is more than one kind of happiness.
I spent the day with my own family today. Writing things down was not the first thing I did after waking up, and for a long time between a hearty breakfast, laughter and sharing the same, wrung dry anecdotes we cannot seem to get enough of, it was not on my mind to write at all. It is often what we need. A change of pace, a different view. Take the white flowers, for instance. I would not have noticed them atop the overwhelmingly large creeper on the west wall of this complex I have sat for countless hours had I not taken this table inside today. Realising they were getting ready to leave, I left my words and stepped out for a bit to play with the dogs. I know both their names now; I do not know the names of their owners.
The patio is empty now. The ochre sky has turned into a pale blue. A few yellow petals hitherto laying about, perhaps tired of the sun, take to the wind. They shift my gaze to the empty chairs and tables through the glass. I try to picture myself sitting at the table I often choose, mostly doing nothing in particular, sometimes writing. I feel a nostalgia I cannot explain. It’s Sunday evening still. I have never felt happier. There is nothing else to tell anyone else.