stepping into loneliness

1 Nov

I had no idea
about your loneliness

how could I know

the coffee cafe
where I stop
three times a week . . .

you always knew
I wanted cream and sugar
and I would probably stay
until I returned messages
on my cell phone

you joked that the coffee shop
was my second office
and I pretended I was so
important I needed it
as my after hours office

I watched all those who
came in and you knew
exactly what they wanted
in their coffee
and even those who wanted
a cookie or brownie or
piece of apple pie,
you always guess it right

I noticed that you never
used a cell phone
I figured that was because
you respected your employer’s time

The guys constantly joked
with you
you joked back
I could tell some of the guys
wanted to have
a relationship with you
outside the coffee shop

from my table I watched
guys hint at asking you
to hang out with them
but no one actually asked you
on a date
these guys, they seemed afraid of
rejection
none asked for your
phone number

each day
the same guys
often came in
and you knew exactly how to fix
their coffee and what snack
they wanted
they played their games of hinting
if you liked them enough
to hang out with them
but not one of the guys
ever asked you for a date
and not one asked for your
phone number

I started thinking
these guys are so shy
they are hoping you
will ask them on a date

one night I passed
an abandoned building
or I thought it was abandoned
until
I saw you unlock the door
and walk up flights of stairs
and then
a single light bulb came on
— it was the third floor
then a TV flickered on
and you fell onto your couch
alone
with no curtain over the window
where the whole world saw
your loneliness

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