Alone, he sat, sipping his coffee, thinking about his next move. The light was sneaking past the heavy clouds outside the window, outside the café. He had left chaos and destruction behind him, that much he had resolved. What to do next? Resolve is only the beginning. What to do next?
He sipped his coffee.
Find a new job? Get a new apartment? New city, new friends? What constitutes change, what change constitutes progress? He knew that he had to do something, accomplish something, to finally finish those things he started. That’s where he should start. That’s where he should do. Instead, he sipped his coffee, looking at the light.
The clouds were dense; think foam hanging in the sky. It wasn’t quite like a blanket in the sky, more like endless pillows. Light was working its way around the giant puffs of faint translucence, struggling yet succeeding to reach the floor of the earth. He yearned to feel the warmth of the sun, the sensation of connection, connection to the world around him, to connect him back to reality.
He sipped his coffee. It was beginning to get a little cold. His leg began to fidget, the half empty mug began to spin in his hands. Twitchtwitch. Twitchtwitch.
Do something! Make something! Contribute something! the light that was working so hard to reach him said. See how far I’ve come? See the burdens I’ve borne, the hurdles I’ve leapt, the walls I’ve penetrated. Match that. Do something.
Do something, do something. He sat there. Twitchtwitch. What is there to do? What is there to do? What is there to do? What is there to do? The mug, spinning, offered no advice. The leg, twitching, pleaded the mug, “Look at all this energy I’ve got! Give me direction! Let me create!”
The mug, mute as ever, continued to spin. Until he took another sip.
This time, when he set the mug back down, it lay still. His hands collapsed upon themselves, resting on the rough-appearing though heavily lacquered-until-smooth-to-the-touch wooden table. Again he stared out the window, this time, however, letting the hard-working light illuminate the people outside the window, outside the café.
He noticed the runner passing in front, in the garb of an ironman competitor, and noticed her crossing paths with another runner. This guy, he was seriously overweight, and in the bagginess of his clothes he tried to hide it. But still, he had to acknowledge , the man ran.
He noticed the students studying outside the café, and inside the café. The nearest was sitting right in front of him, and he could see over her shoulder, see what she was working on. It looked like some essay about early American writers. It also looked like complete trash. But the girl still wrote. Maybe she didn’t know how awful her creation was. Or, more likely, she didn’t care.
What to do, to overcome these issues. How to see, how to act…are the two related? Do they connect? Or are they permanently at odds, our actions limiting our sight and our sight paralyzing our actions? The mug, mostly empty now, the coffee in it decidedly cold, was spinning once more. Though the twitchtwitching of his leg had subdued.
The spinning of the mug entranced him as he looked down, and the café floor fell out from around him, the table that supported the awful essay and the girl that wrote it was flung away, along with the rest of the tables. The counter faded to black, the walls crumbled, the roof flew away.
Alone, finally alone, he picked up his pen, and started to write a story. He wrote a story about a kid, a lot like himself, who sat at his desk in his parent’s house, and after leaving behind him destruction and chaos, picked up his copy of Second Volume of the North Anthology of American Literature, opened it up to Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, and, after sitting, wrote an essay, a crappy, shitty shitty essay, but wrote an essay.