Thursday, November 21, 2013

Over coffee

She came into Starbucks and immediately saw someone she knew. Two Raleigh Bob's connecting over their red Starbucks cups and a noisy wash of "I haven't seen you in so long"s. She's a jewelry maker. Her friend, the one in a meeting across from me, gushed to her colleague about how talented she was.

Then, she said, "This is my dad."

She introduced a man who probably used to be taller than her. His face was the face of a man who obviously used to be healthier. His cheekbones were over pronounced. His shoulders slumped. He spoke softly, but I heard him. He said, "I do like to eat."

The women laughed. He smiled. He still had it.

It was the baseball hat that got me. The random baseball hat that didn't go with the crisp blue jeans that were being cinched to him on the last belt loop. The baseball hat that was a little too casual for the collared shirt he had most definitely had help tucking in before he left home.

The hat was what brought my daddy zooming in this morning - his absence blowing through me like the coldest blast of wind rushing in each time someone opens the door to which I sat to close.

I miss him.

I wished that I could pick him up; take him on my errands with me; stop for coffee; spend the day doing mundane things.

In the end, I only stared, batting back a few tears. I stopped short of leaning over the table and grabbing the woman with the Raleigh Bob and telling her how lucky she was. For all I know, she's quite aware of how lucky she is.

I hope so.