I saw a woman in a restaurant yesterday. It was a family restaurant; the tables came in fours and fives, not ones and twos. She sat alone on a table with three empty seats.
She studied the menu with concentration, paying no attention to the world that swirled and lashed around her like vicious waves; a coming tide. Then she did a funny thing: she took out a book, and began to read. Amidst all the chaos, she somehow found solace. I envied her, really, for being able to do that— to not care, to dare.
I wanted to admire her. I tried to admire her, I really did. But I couldn’t. I pitied her, and cursed myself for it. And the plates kept clinking, and the cups kept singing, and families kept laughing, and she kept reading.