March 30, 2018


This morning, I was under a wrought-iron table outside the entrance of Starbucks, attempting to use the cap sacrificed from some lip balm in my purse to keep the table from wobbling.  It over-compensated, so I gave up and took my seat again, across from an old new friend and in front of my venti sugar-free freshly brewed coffee with some stuff in it and the best god-damned bagel I've had since The Smelly Cat closed in downtown Concord many years ago.

It was breezy out and I slept in and didn't have to hurry on my drive.  It was that kind of morning, so after ordering my complicated coffee, I threw the bagel onto the tab, riding the carefree wind.  I will pay for it with a walk tomorrow, but on this day, I had a bagel with a side of incredibly good conversation for breakfast, full of vitamins and minerals and stick-to-your-ribs heartiness.

Only after I resigned myself to a wobbly table and sat down again did I notice the first sparrow.  She landed not two feet away from us, on the sidewalk, looking for crumbs.  Within moments, there were six sparrows, sometimes five, then six again, pecking around to find crumbs of the baked goods sold inside, bits of danish and brownie and scone dropped by a steady stream of people.  

The sparrows weren't afraid of us.  I knew that they were conditioned to this behavior, like sophisticated trimmed-down Starbucks pigeons, and that the fearless crumb-scavenging ritual takes place every morning, regardless of who, if anyone, is sitting at that table.

But I want to believe they were just for me.  

I want a sparrow to land in my lap, and for deer to be unafraid and not run away.  Neither of these will happen.

I want hours more of the conversation with my friend.  Two hours went by and I felt we'd barely broken bread.  It was that kind of morning.  But we did, and the sparrows ate the plentiful crumbs under our wobbly table.

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