I’m sitting at Aixois, over coffee and my computer, trying to tear myself away from the cool summer morning and the rustle of the wind in the trees. I haven’t succeeded in doing much of anything today, except getting out of the house and having a pleasant conversation with my dog’s vet, who sits at the next table reading about Iceland. She and her husband leave for their tenth anniversary gift to themselves on Sunday and she’s cramming for the journey. I’m jealous but don’t say so; I’ve never even had a passport and don’t expect to ever need one.
I marvel at the perfect formation of the tree in front of me, which has been pruned beyond recognition. The other trees seem more joyful, wild and daring, dancing in the breeze. The one which has been pruned does not move, not so much as a quiver. I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something.
The waitress brings another cup of coffee along with a radiant smile. I notice she has a slight limp, but carries herself like a queen. I feel another pang of something sadly close to envy and pull myself together, just in time to see a woman saunter around the corner in a dress that would make Jackie O cry, and tall platform shoes. She’s swirled her hair into a grand chignon and carries a small leather clutch. Oh, Crestwood, Crestwood, you have such wonderful residents! And they all eat breakfast at Aixois, on Wednesday, with the light air buffeting the stretching, messy, cheerful trees but skirting around the one which someone has bent to their obsessive will.
I gather my things, finally convincing myself that I need to go to the office. I’m feeling uplifted today. I’ve spent my time staggering around the depths of tragedy, and I’m on the uphill side of the week. Peaks and valleys await me. I’m shopping for sturdier shoes and a stout walking stick.