After being lost for some moments this morning
and then found
landing in a spotless McDonald’s in West Seattle
one more link in the chain of golden arches
stretched back and forth across the globe
This version
the same as those in every other corner of America
with just a twist or two
Lots of Spanish wafting melodically from the kitchen,
the laughter that erupts from the mixing of lives and labor,
and with art here on the walls like nowhere else
household repair material, sturdy and sparking DIY memories,
bolts, scraps of metal screens and plywood, tiles,
splashes of primary colors and true textures
The tangible and tactile lifted up like bold reminders
of what holds our world up and together.
During breakfast
two homeless men are each in their own little world
bookending our booth and killing time
spilling no blood but
a whiff of urine hangs in the air
these minor hazards of humans passing through our far west adventures
but they are nice enough
One asks about my oatmeal
declaring it a “good idea”
that he “would try some day”
hatching these small plans for the future.
The other offers a beatific nod about some unknown thing
in our midst
or beyond
both pilgrims somehow with glad hearts
despite hard times bearing down
as captured in the newspaper they’d been perusing
and carved into both their faces.
The elderly one, more frail and grizzled,
the other dark, inscrutable, and wearily methodical
doing quiet inventory of small treasures in his backpack
both making restroom pit stops
as part of their opportunistic hygiene of the streets,
both lean and leaning
into whatever would come, with tipsy optimism.
Next to the cold window
magnifying what sun shines through
we are blending here serenely
with other humans
some burdened with dilemmas and sorrows
some cooking things up
some celebrating something ever so quietly
each politely intersecting in this familiar place
yet seeking our own orbit
and a bit of space and atmosphere that might sustain us
some of us even thinking
we have a firm grasp on the future
Toasting to it with our coffee
warming us to the core
But all just doing our very best
to stay alive
and not collide into each other
not crash into immovable objects either
at least until the next dawn.

West Seattle
February 28, 2109


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s