The coffee shop was like a morgue… I glanced around to see if there was a librarian shushing everyone into submission. People were trying to be respectful I guess, or making sure their conversations weren’t made public. There were a lot of people who were alone, working on their computers and the others were leaning across the microscopic tables to whisper private words.
The coffee shop was eerily somber, an uncomfortable silence… until the guy with tattoos and shaved head waltzed in and bought a banana… He had an easy confident aura as he paid for his coffee and banana then tossed the banana into the air catching it easily as he strolled over to wait in line for his coffee drink.
As he stepped up to the side of the lady waiting in line in front of him he didn’t look at her. She was visibly uncomfortable with the big man’s presence so close to her. The lady kind of looked the other way… almost as if to pretend the big man with the shaved head and tattoos wasn’t standing sixteen inches away from her.
There are times in life that we do the same thing; we ignore reality… It’s done with small things and bigger things alike. I marvel when I see people pretend not to see the beggar on the street corner or when they pass them on the way in or out of a store. They look the other way, sometimes whistle, they have the act down pat. That’s the easiest thing to do isn’t it? Pretend it’s not there.
It’s the same with bigger issues in our lives as well, way too often. When the coming imminent changes in the workplace read like the big “E” on the eye chart and we look the other way as if it were the beggar on the corner. The potential issues and dangers our children are facing or going through and we choose to think of them as innocent toddlers, even when the issues are potentially life altering.
We even play the pretend game with ourselves regarding our spouse. We ignore the signs like we ignore the sign the beggar flashes in our face. I’ve rarely ever seen the “everything will work itself out,” adage come true. Most things in this life require action on our parts and the action will almost always be difficult. It’s always the hardest thing to do, but always the most beneficial.
Our quiet lives will be interrupted and it will be uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as ignoring our issues when they catch up with us.
The lady turned quickly back to face her issue; the guy with the shaved head and tattoos, holding a banana. The big guy held the banana up to his ear and said, “Hello?” – “It’s for you”! as he held the banana open palm toward the lady. She grinned and answered, “Tell em’ I’m not here right now!”
The shiny-headed man smiled. He got the message loud and clear. “Have a good day”! he said as he grabbed his plain coffee and walked out. The lady took a deeper than average breath and glanced at him as he left.
I smiled as I watched from the table by the door.
Chalk one up for her…
And us the next time we face our fears.