March 29, 2013

The Cafe


"The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began.


I've been thinking a lot lately about the girls I could have been. There have been so many.

There could have been the single girl working at a vet's office, coming home to her dogs every night. Days spent with sweet friends, but depression and confusion when all alone.

The fiance of a young redneck with an old, creaky pickup truck, who had just bought his first old, creaky house in a old, creaky small town. He picked out paint colors for the walls in shades I've only seen inside Play-Dough cans.

The girlfriend of the former Marine who had a poster of the atomic bomb above his bed and couldn't sleep though his PTSD despite the Ambien and alcohol. We felt destructive and self-loathing together, but I often wondered if he ever hoped to achieve more.

The girl who decided, at 25 years old, children and marriage were never to be. She dreamed of a series of long term boyfriends, travel, and no real commitments to anything.

But mostly, I think about the girl in the cafe. I've always thought about her the most.

I would be sitting in local cafes every day, slowly reading the paper, lazily typing at the keys on my computer. My glasses would be slightly askew, my hair up in a bun with a pencil stuck through it. And when a brilliant idea flashed through my writer's mind, I'd pull the pencil out and feel my hair spill onto my shoulders as I scribbled.

A freelancer who makes just enough to afford the daily coffee habit and a cheap apartment in a neighborhood with brick streets. A girl who may have a boyfriend, or may not. A girl who spends more time at this little coffee shop than she does in her own bed, nodding to the waitress when she walks in, automatically getting her half-caf mocha and cinnamon bagel without needing to order. A beautifully scripted, but somewhat solitary life full of a few of my deepest passions, lived out in the small space filled with the smell of the coffee beans, clinking of china, and the chatter of strangers, not friends.

I probably wouldn't even know. But maybe one day, when a pregnant mother opened the door, clutching the hand of her little 2 year old daughter, I would. "Millie," I'd hear her whisper, "Let's sit here and I'll get you a glass of milk."

And maybe a few tears would fall as I would write about how I could have been that girl, too.

9 kind comments from you:

Chantal said...

Beautiful. Life takes us in all sorts of directions. Sometimes, the grass does seem greener, until you really take a look at your own life and realize it's your favorite shade of green.

Mel said...

I think back to some of the people I could have been and I'm glad I have the life I do. Sure, it's easy to think of the other scenarios and wish (or not) that they had played out. But you only get one life...

Michelle said...

This is amazing. I think about this sort of thing all the time. But I'm glad you are who you are :)

Julie Danielle said...

What an amazing post. It made me think about to the people I could have been too. But if we had chosen a different path we would still wonder about the other ones.

Holly said...

I love this. I really love it. I think about this all the time. Sometimes I think it is not fair to have only one life with only certain paths; there is so much to experience.

Fran said...

I love this, I really, really do. Sometimes I think about the different girls I could have been but we only get one life and I'm happy with where mine's going :)

greaterexp said...

How beautifully written! When you're much older, I think you may look back and see all the people you've been; though you're really only one, it seems to have been many. God leads us into so many paths we would never have dreamed of, but others we dreamed of since we were small. You're a dream come true for your mom.

Erinn C.D. said...

This is beautiful. There are so many paths we all can take and sometimes it's good to go back and reflect on those.

applesandglue said...

You are such a beautiful writer, and I love this so much. I haven't really taken the time to think about the people I could've been but now I'm wondering about it. Thank you for that. :)

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