friday, you're walking down the street, you're walking up the street, it's one direction that you're moving to and from, you're in motion in relation to other moving points, you might be standing still or you might be full-stride dodging oncoming traffic, stepping aside to let others pass or watching others move for you, suddenly trying to decide whether there is more agency in action or in stagnation, in reaching out or in taking a stand. you look into one person's eyes and feel nothing. you look into the next person's eyes and the next and the next until you have to look down. everyone is pretending, you think, they must be, and you curse the wind and you curse yourself for wearing a thin jacket the day after snowfall. and then it's traffic, it's taillights and confetti cigarettes, cell phones and cold hands numb at the wheel. this is not an epiphany, this is no holy moment, there is no silver lining, and every car lurches along at 10 mph, stop-and-go like a dissected caterpillar whose legs carry on like phantom limbs, unaware of the disconnected interconnectivity of it all, the slow crawl toward whatever happens next.
saturday, hours and hours and bleach water-cracked knuckles, dishes filed wet, books on a shelf. nickels and dimes and dollar bills worn soft from years of being passed between the same five, maybe six hundred wallets. Stillwater, weather talk, old newspapers, Belgian chocolate stains in the carpet, nails jutting from the wall, a thing dying from the inside out, teeming with patrons, paper-wrapped croissants in hand, until its last day. this was a mom-and-pop business for several years, now popless, how could you stand to work each day in a building steeped in memories of a relationship turned bitter, how could you smile and bake and smile and bake day after day. how many times can you say "thank you" in an eight hour period? how many pots of coffee can you brew? how many smiles can you turn? it will all change, things will shift, in time, you will hang your apron on a hook and forget that you own it.