The Espresso Shot (#004)
by Christopher Malone - Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Life is just beginning. Why should we stop?

The Wandering Child

Corner of Salina and Jefferson Streets, Syracuse

***

The reflection and bending of the sun’s rays blasted a beam into my mug to keep my coffee warm. The midday sun for this late spring day provided little heat despite the promising clear sky. We were getting used to the high 70′s through the latter 80′s heat. Should this keep up, we’d all be puddles of flesh by the time September rolls around. As my fingers turned letters into words for sentence and paragraph purposes, seconds were flicked off the clock. There is a rewarding feeling when time passes so quickly and you’re cognizant of it.

A bus arrived moments later, breaks giving into the pressure with the slightest of squeals. The child grabbed onto his mother’s side with confidence as he gripped the frozen iced treat in his other hand.

***

Life is just beginning. Why should we stop?

Summer is almost here, June is a hop-skip-and-jump away. The summer solstice will be arriving as it may — what should be — June 21, 2014, and from there on out, the amount of daylight we’ll be receiving will diminish. There is nothing we can really do about that, but our bodies and minds adjust to inevitable changes, gliding into the finish. Upon the equinoxes we relax, ease. Upon the solstices with moan as we please. It’s too hot, it is to be said as we wipe our brows dampened by dread. Or it’s too cold, it is to be followed; a redundant complaint that is better off swallowed.

Often times in the afternoons, before we learned to count with coffee spoons, our days were filled with adventure and fun. Often times we’d chase down the ice cream truck, each toting an air gun. Bandits for ice cream! We did not need a dollar to hijack a dream! It was until one of us got caught; our idealistic approach soured, distraught. Off into the hills we ran, leaving our suckered comrade to dwell in the sand, sinking in the guilt of being sad.

And those were the days, summers filled with memories and haze. We sit in dwell, lurk in bars, smoke cigars, and shower in lieu of smell. Our late-20′s and early 30′s reflections are all but a distorted connection to the life we once had with the current style for which we’re glad.

What we did for the enjoyment of a Bomb Pop.

***

In front of me as I sat cozily in my Cafe Kubal chair, the Downtown Syracuse walkers meandered over to the bus stop. A child around the age of three held the hand of his mother as she spoke to a friend of hers. As his tongue and lips eroded the fancy ice cream popsicle, he meandered in close proximity, skipping and hopping over the cracks in the sidewalk, anticipating the ground’s splitting. The treat never left a few inches from his mouth — the anticipation that an audacious pigeon should dupe the little guy and take it.

The glare off of my coffee cup must have caused enough commotion. After a minute and a scuffle of sneakers that could not be heard, the two-or-three-year-old’s beady little eyes were starting up at me. My attention focused, and my hand waved courteously. His gaze fell from my hand to beyond me; his hand raised, his index finger pointed out and hit the glass repeatedly. Looking behind me, I saw nothing that could be to his liking. I turned back around, and our gazes met; his finger still nudged the glass. My mimicking the gesture generated a laugh, and he scurried away.

The slightest of connection of different generations and different races can create a ripple that can affect a person’s soul and outlook. We’re two people with the same insides; my guts are only more aged and weathered. Whether or not the child will remember the game, the joking around with the stranger on the other side of the glass or not, that instance he was allowed to realize and accept trust in humanity. I was reminded to stay young at heart. The world is what we make of it. Whether we feel important with planning for the future, its important to live in the moment and enjoy what has been given and placed in front of you. 

Have fun.

The Inevitable Coffee Ring