In a corner I observe the chatter, the rowdiness that makes me nervous but convinces me that my life is not as dull. There is a live band on the stage with a young lad that dreams of stardom, struggling to win the attention of the front tables. The rest of the restaurant is a lost cause.
My palms are sweaty from anxiety and my breath catches in my chest whenever a figure passes by my table. I look across the table to the empty space in front of me. Should I place my bag on the seat and act like I am expecting someone? I’ll have to look jolly and welcoming – No, too much stress.
Still, I have to look busy and purposeful to avoid awkward hellos and painful conversations. My mind is racing and I chew at my cuticles, punishing them in a bid to calm my wild imaginations. It seems like everyone is staring at me. Quick, you have to do something! My mind screams at me. I reach for my journal.
It is a battle with dim bulbs and faint moonlight. Still, I struggle to see the lines. I act like I have something to say, as if my words carry bars of gold dipped in honey. Instead, my ink draws blood and hot air, spilling emptiness on an already blank page. I check the time, it is 9:00 pm. I think I have done graciously for the week. Act like I have a life– check.