I sit here trying to close my mind and ears to the sounds around me. I want to focus on the words and history that are in front of me. To find answers and guidance that I desperately need.
In the noise surrounding me I hear napkins ruffling, the laughter between a woman and her best friend and mother, steam from the espresso machine, newspapers opening.
Then sharply out of the dulled sounds of this coffee house, a shrieking, warm cry of the little boy I waved too when I first walked in. His eyes were so bright when I walked in and his stare didn’t budge. Naturally, I gave a big smile and closed palmy wave, not needing a reaction back, but just initiating to him that I recognized his stare and adoration for what he didn’t know. That I appreciated his curiosity.
In that moment of his scream, I can’t see him. But I recognize that it’s him, instantly. In a place that many come to quietly be with themselves or come to calm themselves from the noise of their worlds, I’m sure many shruddered at his scream. Though, in that moment I found myself enjoying the warmth of his voice, of this almost primitive call to his mother. Warm and deep was his scream, wry and guilty was my smile.
Am I that cynical and crude, to selfishly enjoy the cry of a screaming baby? What is wrong with me that I felt pleasure at his misfortune? Instinctively, my only guess is that I smiled at his humanity. His need for attention and love. His unapologetic need and demand for it.
I smiled because it reminded me that we need each other, but only this little boy had the courage to scream at the top of his lungs and demand love rather than solitude in a filled room.
I picture him now, his eyes filled with tears, curly brown hair topping his world of a head. Eyes filled with tears but also dreams and fear all in the same moment. Wet eyelashes searching the room for the familiar. But all this, lasting just for a moment. Lasting only until his mother’s or father’s touch was there again. And the moment of fear, or hunger, or tiredness, was over. And once again the steam from the espresso machine filled the room.