One good side to a busy schedule is that once you’ve stepped on the treadmill of the day, you don’t have to think about what’s next. And so there is no guilt. No wondering how you may have better spent, say, a week-end. It’s set for you. Like a child, you dutifully take on the next task and the next, as if a parental figure is pulling you along.
Hours pass. At some point you notice that the woman in the apartment across the lot – the woman who sits in the same spot by the window every single day until late at night – is not there anymore. You know then that it’s past midnight and that you must stop.
Earlier, on my way to the shop, I stop for a double shot at the café-bar just down the hill. I like to call it the café-bar even though, of course, in our usual segregation of drinking spaces, the coffee people are in one corner and the “other” drinkers are elsewhere. My double shot is of espresso and so I sit in my proper spot, watching employees take lunch breaks at the table next to mine. The bar corner is empty.
It is, I suppose, commendable that no one is out drinking at 2 in the afternoon, but I miss feeling the liveliness of a mixed crowd. In my state of utter busy-ness, I would enjoy seeing people who are less busy. Animated. Exchanging stories. It would remind me of better moments, when I actually do have choices: espresso, or a glass of wine? To write? Or to read? Or to hike and think idle thoughts?
The employees at the café-bar finish their lunch. It’s time for me to move on. I take a last swig of my double, pack my bag and head toward the shop.