Time Passing Time
Sitting at a window, I held a photo in my hand.
An early morning waitress brought me apple pie sweetened with honey, and coffee curdled with cream. Her brown name tag had no name.
Visions overtook me as if I was sleeping.
Empty chairs looked like prison bars.
Running archers raced with flaming arrows.
The window shook with fear.
I called the waitress over. I took the photo from my hand. "This is me when I was young."
A small smile spread narrowly across her face. She pulled a picture from her blouse. "I was beautiful once."
With kindred words I asked if visions overtook her, as if she were still asleep.
She said yes, yes. She could see fear. She could see danger. Right now she saw prison bars and rising archers with arrows on fire. But she knew that visions would not harm her. But time passing time always would.
I asked her for her name. She touched her name tag and said: "See, it's right here."
I said So long, Anonymous. She smiled and said I was the first to call her that. She bemoaned: My feet hurt bad sometimes. My knees and legs, too. The owner wants a young girl, good for business. I got a grown daughter from a man I didn't know. She wasn't born right and I take care of her at home.
The tip I left her was worth more than the meal. I walked slowly. Sometimes I couldn't sleep at night. I had visions of time racing past itself and colliding in between tragedy and emptiness. I didn't tell this to the waitress. She had a heart, and there was no point to break it. No point to curdle her kindness before the early morn.
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