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Cafe Contemplation

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

As I inhale the aromas that depart from my cigarette, I peer up at the sky and interpret its greeting as a complexion of warmth. A gentle breeze caresses my limbs, as I take a sip of my wine and gaze at the distant passersby who are conversing intimately. The mood is light with the sun offering no sign of forgiveness on this curious winter afternoon. The cafe where I temporarily reside is nearly full to capacity with patrons sipping on an array of drinks. Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” can be recognized in the background, and I am instantly transported to a feeling of familiarity—the type of familiarity that may only be known to those who have lived in the company of loneliness for far too long. My fellow patrons do not seem to take notice of the lyrics in the same sense that I do, as they carry on with their seemingly frivolous conversations in Italian. As I sit here with a sly grimace upon my face, I peer over my shoulder and, out of the corner of my eye, I spot an elderly man exchanging glances with me. Time seems to have come to a halt, as his gaze is telling of longevity and wisdom. I revert back to my former state and direct my eyes to a lone patch of greenery that is dotted with dainty, white flowers. This welcoming observation can only offer a fleeting sense of hope in a locale seemingly saturated with trivialities.

I indulge in another sip of wine and shift my gaze towards the river. A woman dressed in yellow is sitting cross-legged and peering off into the distance, appearing oblivious to those who surround her. The yellow in her cardigan is striking and mimics the kaleidoscope of colorful sensation being emitted by the sun. I cannot help but continue my gaze in this direction, as I now watch a couple of birds perch themselves upon a lone branch above the woman. This lighthearted sentiment strangely pulls me deeper into my own cruel isolation, yet begs me to ponder if one can ever be entirely alone among nature’s delicate embrace.

A siren erupts in the distance and disintegrates this moment of light contemplation altogether. I cannot help but wonder how my own isolation sits with my fellow patrons, if at all. This is the curse that loneliness seeps into one’s soul—masquerading itself as a being of perpetual intimacy. I turn to my wine glass once more and stare deeply into its red hues. As I continue to stare into this mirage of comfort, I find myself utterly sick and stuck in a state of numbness to the apparent contentment that surrounds.

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