Oh Maggie I couldn’t have tried anymoOore…
That’s Rod’s Maggie…and that’s Rod as in Rod Stewart, currently belting out his heartache about Maggie over Gloria Jean’s speakers in Cronulla, NSW. Rod’s scratchy voice, talkin‘ ’bout being made a first-class fool, me feeling like one, followed by a tinny, gut-wrenching ballad from some Aussie group I don’t know. I swear, I seem to hit GJ’s during ballad hour. Why do I even wonder why five minutes before Rod was wailing about Maggie, I was finding it hard to not wail here in this coffee shop, the moisture filling up my eyes, and me trying so hard not to let it spill over into everyone’s coffee escape, including mine.
How is it one can feel so totally alone amidst so many people? A couple to my right, with their laptops nuzzling each other on a table, both dressed in breezy, chic summer linen that reflects the light and world as if to say we have no worries. That girl in the black, alone, across from me, furiously scraping the bottom of her takeout container, and now trying to pick her teeth inconspicuously. The girl with the Apple ibook and serious cleavage, a contradiction, immersed in whatever her high-dollar digital date is painting for her. How is it that one can feel totally alone?
I came here to not be alone. And yet I’m more alone now than ever. I do not like this feeling and I never have. I do not like this solitude that I should be grateful for, maybe the calm before the storm. I do not like this emptiness, every day like treading water. I do not like this feeling of being disconnected, my wires yanked out and hanging, live, dangerous for any who approach.
And now the linen-clad couple is gone, the girl in black, gone, and Apple Cleavage, she’s gone too. Cause they all have things to do. People to see. Work. Places to go. Connections. And in this place that still feels so foreign I have nothing to do. No people to see. No work. No place to go. All I have is me and the same clock I was watching on the other side of the world, wishing to be on this side, now wishing to be on that side.
I am, indeed, the manifestation of a monster of my own making.