Thursday, July 1, 2010


My mom and I are at a coffee shop. It is one of those trendy places with couches and easy chairs haphazardly draped over the floor. Recorded instrumental music plays softly in the background. Young women with dark, spiky hair and black aprons tied around their waists serve coffee and pastries. They wear brown short-sleeved button down tops and short black skirts to go with the black aprons. The walls are painted brown and the furniture is all varying shades of tan, brown, and a deep maroon. It could be a dark, drab place. But it is not. It is cozy, almost den-like. It is comfortable.

Mom and I place our beverage orders. And then we receive them. Then we wait. As usual, he is late. Then he arrives with a flurry of hugs and apologies. Colby looks good, looks happy. He is not as relaxed as when I have seen him before but this, he says, is because he is busy. Colby knows all the waitresses by name and they treat him as if they know him, as if they are his friends. He has lots of friends, they tell me.

Colby and I take our beverages out to a porch. It is the porch of an old farm house and there are a lot of tall leafy trees between us and the road in front of us. The porch and its accompanying railing is covered with peeling white paint. Colby sits on a chair facing me and I sit in the porch swing. It is hard for mom to get around so she stays inside. "They will let her know what I am doing these days," Colby says, meaning the waitresses.

Colby catches me up on his activities. He is busy with a variety of things and I am so caught up in drinking up the sight of him that I forget to listen. I tell Colby that I wish I could see him more often, that I wish he still lived here with us. He looks puzzled. He frowns that slight frown and his eyes look quizzical. "But I am always with you," he says. "I am always there."

Then Colby looks directly into my eyes and it is his gaze that I see when I wake up.

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