02 May 2008

Mrs. Bradley

I have nine hundred fifty eight dollars and twenty nine cents in my checking account- nine hundred and fifty of which will be taken out later today when Joe deposits my rent check. This may be a record. I will have $8.29 to my name. Where has all my money gone? I guess I'll have to stop going to thrift stores- that's the only additional 'expense' I see that I have.

Rich's daughter is running around here at the Gryphon. She is very adorable- beautiful brown locks, a round full innocent face, and bright red rosy cheeks. I'm seated, cappuccino in hand, at a large vintage kitchen table-the first thing to greet you at the Gryphon cafe. The table is beside a glorious store front window- a window crafted with care to detail, and one can't help but be drawn to the sunlight dancing round as each passerby crosses its path outside.

I'm sharing the table with another lady. However, it looks like she's just now packing up. Appeared she was clipping coupons- but that just seems silly, so instead I'll say she was scribbling in her journal. Today, my sole day off, I've decided to get my drink for here. To stay a bit and enjoy the company of others - the jazz sounding in the distance, the delivery trucks whizzing by, the impatient motorists honking, and the whirling and swishing of that grand espresso machine.

I had the most bizarre dream last night. I dreamt there was this giant polar bear- a white one- prowling on my parents door stoop. The dream was mainly shot from two locations. Half the time I was seated at the kitchen table, peering out at the giant thing- near trembling (I think there was snow on the ground in the distance), and the other half of the time, I was crouched behind the front door, by the large glass penny jar, afraid for my life. The darn thing wanted to get in and eat me. I think this may have conjured in my head from a clip of footage I saw the other day on the television. There was an aerial shot of a polar bear swimming around in the giant blue ocean- next to chunks of bobbing ice, and as we watched the white bear swim to safety, the anchor man stated, "It hasn't yet been confirmed if polar bears will be added to the list of endangered species..." Any way, it wasn't the best of dreams.

Rich's pregnant wife and little daughter just skipped out, and now the wind has gone and blown in, replacing their absence. It's nice to think hundreds, maybe thousands, have sat at this old kitchen table. The cuts, scratches, dents and divots are too many to number and I'd like to imagine I've left a few here- over the years.

The woman I'm sharing this table with may be an interior designer. Instead of clipping coupons, it now looks like she's drawing out a floor plan of sorts on graph paper. She's sipping tea. Her hair is short, like a messy crew cut, and she wears small rimmed glasses that have a cord attached to each ear piece- securing them to her aged head. Which reminds me- Tara, one of the bakers I work with, wants to add visors to our uniform. VISORS. I couldn't help but audibly giggle when she suggested such. True, as she said, temperature wise, they would be the 'cooler' option, but the thing is, we're always FREEZING back there behind those industrial Hobart's, trying to scrape each ounce of batter with more and more fervor and umph just to try to break a sweat- or at least dismiss the goosebumps. In my opinion, the more of anything we can cover up, the better. So, I vote 'no' on the addition, or replacement rather, of visors for our French looking, China made, chef hats. I like looking like an Oompa Loompa, thank you very much.

Now where was I before that awful tangent? Yes, the lady with the Vera Bradley bag that I'm sharing table space with this morning is indeed an artist. She has whipped out the nice prisma color markers and a fancy, expensive ink pen too-which reminds me, I have a grocery list full of random odds and ends that I must pick up for the inn: Resolve, Febreeze, a duster (the stick thing with artificial feathers glued to it resembling a hairy rainbow on a wand), bath mats, and Fran mentioned something about a new swiffer stick. I must also remember, for myself, to get those little felt squares that go beneath chair feet- so as not to disturb the landlord below. Smile.

Children now pass by, with clipboards and backpacks, wonder filled eyes and a purposeful gate. Now that they've paraded past, grownups once more grace the path of that cold cement sidewalk. But it's a great day out. Full, pregnant, boasting with possibilities. There is the Yellow Springs art show in Chester Springs, Valley Forge with its ticks and deer, the Perkiomen trail with a river in its way that welcomes skipping stones or, of course, there is the responsible option of the day- catching up on laundry and doing some cleaning. But I think that must wait for a day not so lovely out- for a late night hour when the suns been set and the company's no more. Perhaps the one thing I'll allow myself to do indoors today is some baking. I finally picked up some heavy cream to make a double batch of Dee's famous scones, and after seeing what granola goes for in the supermarket these days, I think I'll make a hearty batch as well.

The lady I'm sharing this table with, is now filling her Vera Bradley bag- stuffing in her prisma markers, graph paper, and seeing glasses with safety cord- seems she's making room for all but the kitchen table. It's kind of like watching Mary Poppins pull out thing after thing from that magical duffel bag of sorts, but this lady's gone and done the opposite. And now, she and he, this man that's just joined her have had a Mary greeting Elizabeth moment- an embrace and exchange of warmth, love, anticipation and of hope, even.

I kind of feel awkward now- sitting at this table for five and I'm number three to a reunion just made. I'll just keep sitting here on the end, with my empty cappuccino mug, pen in hand and try to pretend I'm not overhearing their conversation. There is a violet pedal pike propped up with its kickstand to my left, just before the threshold of the doorway, and a ruby red ten speed leaning against a tree just outside the grand window.

The lady with the nice markers, who just met her man, has stepped away from this table to order another drink- but soon she will be back. Actually, shes taken her Vera Bradley bag too, and I'm clever enough to know what that means- she's not coming back. I now faintly hear them from behind. They, too, sensed the awkwardness and found a new table- for two. So now I'm one at a table for five with my empty cup and an old ink pen. But at least I've got the day, and unlike this cup, it's full of possibilities.

1 comment:

Beccalynn said...

There's nothing like a day off to ponder life. It's so healing, and wholesome!