The girl at the coffee shop is unknowingly a champion of literature. She excels at a single thing -- the ceasing of my pen. And who knows what else. There is a person on the other side of the back that faces me, but it is not concerned with me and does not concern me. A slim and specific young woman, perhaps a bit awkward and unsure in the world. Maybe frightened of potentialities or cracked by a violence or a series of acts done without consent, with aggression. She moved from a small town, a family confounded by parochialism, patriarchy, provincialism -- a family that answers an uncles penetrating hands with disbelief in her, with belief in dead men gods. She came to the city where an acquaintance beckoned -- a girl she had admired for her power but here she is, that girl is a hot mess. She keeps it together but cannot figure what for. The boys here are worse -- at least back home it was an honest violence, a clear hatred of the unknown or unplumbed. Sometimes she gives them what they want, sometimes not and they tantrum. But she goes on, a feather caught in a tree's autumn leaves.
Or more likely that stranger to me is an artist with a firm view and a nuanced hand, who treads lightly only to conserve an electric strength, who turns fear into action, compassion into care.
She breaks my pen -- I cannot turn a person to character. And the man that I am, her lines like a long horizon.