I sat in the restaurant and looked from corner to corner, front to back, booth to booth and high bar to low bar, and what did I see? A room full of people not talking to one another, not being attentive to one another in any present degree, not enjoying or savoring one another’s company, not sitting affectionately close together or touching or even displaying silent nurturing and encouraging body language towards one another. Obesity rampant throughout the crowd, yet in no greater of a consuming percentage than that of the frowns, smirks, faces face planted in their respective phones, crossed arms, avoided eye contact, base redundant gestures and comments parroted back and forth without any type of meaningful acknowledgement or reflection of thoughtful intent. Many seemed eagerly poised and ready to argue or complain or display boiling impatience at the egregiousness of anything and anyone they approached or any sensical inconvenience that might disrupt the most minute microcosm of the environment from serving only their own self aggrandizing compulsions and gluttonous spontaneous gratifications.
A group of adolescent girls in the corner appearing to all try to mimic one another in every way possible without having the slightest clue as to why they are cookie cutting themselves into life, a man as widely spaced from his wife as possible in the seat adjacent to her and yet possessing his toddler daughter as only his trophy or blankie if you will, and the typical white wealthy pretentious cow-chewing-their-cud dazed and confused elderly couple of cold and solemn sterile silence amongst themselves, were all noticeable amidst the other earbudded, monosyllabic grunting, and rigidly withdrawn from even their own party, patrons.
But there was one table that suddenly stood out to me. An outlier or beacon of hope, in the middle of all that insanity, itself lost to all of the isolation, withdrawal, apathy, and loneliness, surrounding it. A large black man and a large white woman sat across from one another at that table. The black gentleman donned a pair of glasses and sprouted a semi-groomed beard along with a slight overabundance of untamed curls which trickled over the edge of his seemingly flat topped head. The woman was of pale complexion and possessed a straight flowing but full bodied mane of dyed jet black hair. The glint of her unilateral nose piercing could also be seen from time to time as a solitary sparkle when she moved her head a certain way under the overhead lights. Both were very casually dressed in cheap garments.
These two people leaned in to one another in that booth, not in an aggressive or intimidating proclamation of posture, but in the comfy and cozy manner one might gently snuggle up as close as possible to the warm flames of a much desired fire. Their facial expressions were persistently relaxed and softly glowed or radiated an obvious aura of appreciation and contentment for the unrushed and unhectic moments they were choosing to share. Neither ever picked up a phone while I watched or displayed any nervous energy or made any attempt to dominate the other. It was astoundingly beautiful and I found it hard not to stare.
I was sitting next to the register and when they eventually came up to check out, I was so touched by what I had seen between the two of them, that I came very close to telling them how much they had stood out to me in the nature and energy of their interactions with one another, but I finally decided against doing so. Why invade such emotional intimacy between two others? Why interject myself into the energy they were sharing at the moment? Why not let them hold on to the purity of those moments for as long as they might all by themselves?
It is amazing sometimes just how much one unexpected person or one unlikely couple can bolster your hope and faith in others and maybe even in yourself. This outlying couple certainly did such a thing for me today.