October 19, 2015

We're Strangers Once More

I was sitting in a Starbucks in the hazy middle of daybreak. It's barely light out, despite the clock hitting 10 am. The rain's dripping, falling slowly and softly on the windows flushed green from the gray sky. Outside, trees were blowing. In just seconds, it went from a pale gray to charcoal horizons. It's dark indoors, the outside spreading a smudginess into the flickering light of Starbucks. Cars zipped by quickly, skipping the drive through, skipping the place, and slip through the rain.

People come in, wet and tousled from the deluge, laugh, say they're escaping from the storm. Instantly, strangers become friends for minutes, united over terrible weather, worried about the storm that's passing, gathering around each others phones to glance at radars, bemoan over the clouds of blackness coming in. I've got a caramel Macchiato, and then they're gone. The tables outside echo with the slap, every second more droplets tap out their pattern, the sound dulled by heavy glass windows and the faint hum of electricity. The water outside is soupy, splashing in puddles up to the middle of car tires as they rush through. It's so deep outside that waves are made and they crash on the cement. It's strange, unsettling, to see cars that size swallowed up in water that was just minutes ago suspended in air. Every so often, lightning opens up the dimness of the sky and reminds us that the power could disappear in an instant.

People come and go, regulars filter through those looking for a decent cup of coffee, and people see each other for the 1st time. These bonds created over a strangers phone, from people trapped inside because of the weather, who only know each other based on their daily cup of coffee, surface. A group of people, finding solace together. It's a rainstorm that brings us together, and yet, the sun persists in coming forward, pulling apart what's being built. And so we go about our days, waiting for these collective glimpses of humanity, reading between the lines and usual orders to see something a bit more, a yearning for relationships above else.

The rain pounds but the sky clears. A bird flies across the murky clouds, an ink stain in the weather, and the cars roll by unknowingly on the freeway, forever apart, forever mysteries. Thunder rumbles, the rain abates, hardens, rolls on surfaces and fills the pooling tables and streets, and yet, we're strangers once more.

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