You look at the second-hand of your wristwatch. It moves ever so slowly, as if it needs another needle to push it forward. You suffer the consequences of your decision. Waiting for the inevitable. You wonder if this can be considered an anniversary gift. You question your sanity; you had agreed to this vacation itinerary addition.
You don’t need to see around. Mummers, low and high and medium and hushed and calm tell you all. An overhead red light, blinks rapidly with curiosity. On the left a folding table boasts an array of doughnuts, two types of coffees, disposable plates and cups, and napkins. You smell his arrival. He and his obsession with free coffee and doughnuts. You stopped counting after five. You make a silent wish. A sign above announces ‘Be Seated.’ He offers his half eaten doughnut; he is happy with anticipation. Your eyes question: Will it be soon? He offers you a sip. You push it away.
Your hand is in his, absorbing all the warmth he has to offer, all the warmth you don’t need. Overhead, millions of small yellow lights contrast with the bleak winter snow outside. Around you, women retouch their faces, men suck in their stomachs—ready for their one and only probable chance, just in case the god with microphone shines his charm on them. The sign above turns to ‘Silence.’ You feel his fingers pat your arm. You hear his whispers: Don’t look so bored . . . smile all the time . . . you will be caught with that look on the camera.
You hope for it to start; you hope for it to end. Dozens of people scurry around, trying to fix, wrap, straighten things. You take a sip of his coffee. You force a smile that doesn’t meet your eyes. The sign above prompts ‘Applause.’ You clap like others but with less enthusiasm. You hear a voice announce: Now here over, Live with Regis and Kelly Ripa . . .
You wish this to end, you want this to end. You close your eyes tighter than before; you wish harder than before. You watch a young spot boy put a crushed paper plate on the table. You see him sway away. His elbow knocks over a coffee cup. You open your mouth to warn him. Dark brown liquid travels the length of the table to drip slowly onto the concrete floor. You watch the drops make their way to the electric cable. You almost start to say something. But probably this is your way out.