I saw her at a coffee shop in a city that I cannot recall. It could have been San Francisco, perhaps Portland, or it might have been Seattle. But the fact of the matter is that I was in a small quaint coffee shop surrounded by large buildings looming over my shoulder.
I intended just to glance in her direction but I was sucked into her gravity and put into her orbit. She wasn’t exactly the classical definition of beauty. In fact she was quite disheveled. Bed head, over sized flannel button up and loose fitting boyfriend jeans. However, to this disorder was a sense of cohesiveness. She did not try to mend and meticulously fix every detail about herself. She embraced the blemishes and imperfections as her own which added to her beauty.
There was a vacuum of cold empty space between her and I. And here I was drifting away aimlessly in a coffee shop. What could I say to her?
“Hello, I’m C. What’s your name?”
“Or should I tell her a story?”
One day a young man met a young woman in a coffee shop, just like the very one we’re sitting in. They exchanged pleasantries and talk about the day’s happenings then went their separate ways. However, chance encounters led them to the same coffee shop every morning at the same time. She would talk and he would listen and they would part ways at noon. Every little conversation they built and fostered an honest connection that people encounter once in a lifetime. Their relationship was natural and unforced, a rarity. From their first conversation it was like rekindling or reconnecting with an old friend. They were nothing short of soul-mates. Two beings intertwined by an intangible force that just can’t be explained. He was meant for her and she was meant for him.
With every encounter an image of a plug would emerge. A small cork plug at the base of his neck, one that you would find on a bottle of wine. Why an image of a cork emerged he did not know. But he did know he had the urge to pull this cork for it blocked the base of his neck.
Months go by with this routine. He would talk to her and she would talk to him, lost in space together. The cork ever so slightly getting looser. Slowly he realized the only thing that would release it would be to tell her how he feels.
During their daily encounter he said, “I like you a lot, so much that 1 + 1 is 3. to that she responded “I’m sorry, I’m spoken for already.” Just as 1+1=3 doesn’t make sense, her response to him did not register as well. To him, they were perfect. He couldn’t imagine this sense of comfort with anyone else. To her he asked, “Why?”. Curtly she responded, “you took too long”.
In his head, the cork falls off. Her answer a catalyst for release of this blockage. With each encounter they were floating in space together but not once did he try to follow through and anchor her down.
“From the first time I met you, I thought we were perfect for each other” she said. She continued, “You knew me better than friends I’ve known for years. It’s weird to have a connection with someone you just met and have it that strong. What stopped you from asking sooner?”
He told her, “A cork at the base of my neck stopped me. A simple cork stopped me from fully connecting me to you.” A weird thing to say but it was true.
Thats what I would have told her. I proceeded to get up and go back to work. With a cork lodged deeply into my neck.
With that they parted ways, a missed connection and life drifted on.