The hairs rose up in waves across my neck as he leaned over and whispered in his psychotically-tilted voice, as it always seemed to be, “All the most brilliant minds are right here, ya know.”
I nodded, pretending to go obliviously about my business that night behind the barista stage, but something inside me wanted to jump across the counter, grab his collar, shake him violently and scream into his eyes until all his secrets ran down his chin like blood, “Tell me what you know!” I understood fully, but the powers that be at that time wouldn’t let me reveal even an inkling.
Another man, about 20 years his senior, shouted at me across the glass casing where all the sweets were kept from wandering hands, “Do I stutter, Elizabeth?!” A violent fist shook the counter. He was enlightening me through our seemingly simple conversation about deer having the ability to see violet light, assuming I did not know, which I knew perfectly well, that he was referring to me being the light and him being the deer.
That night however, I was so taken aback that I had no choice but to pretend I was the one stunned, again, assuming the barista role acting as if I were too busy to listen to his nonsense. Everything in my soul wanted to chase him out the door and yell from the doorway toward his car, arresting him with, “I am! I know!” Maybe then he’d explain more.
Instead, I ran into the bathroom with phone in hand to desparately text my friend, who had just moments ago asked me what it meant to me to be in a place called home and with whom I had a conversation about white and violet light radiating from our being.
Out the door I’d go and no sooner did I turn around did I see another standing at the foot of the door. Him. The cadence within a young man’s eyes, glued to mine, that could no longer keep a secret, had the ability to creep through the windowless souls of onlookers and curious musicians alike. He was one of them afterall. A curious musician … never a windowless soul. In fact he bore holes right through mine, reflecting a gold aura as we locked eyes.
Gazing was a thing of the past in his world. This was assault.
Again, I assumed position as the oblivious one, but my body’s natural vibration in tune with his couldn’t keep still. It rocked me solid, until he’d finally leave the shop, where my knees then turned to putty and swept the floor with the water that had become my shallow grave, delivering the last cosmic blow.
Everyday was on repeat.