Breakfast at Seppe's
As I stood looking at the lovely expensive handbags and dresses on the other side of the reflective window pane, I began thinking about the unexpected twists my life had taken in only a six month period. It hadn't been so very long ago that I would have been able to purchase anything I wanted from the designer boutique. My pockes were empty right then though. There was very little I could do to fix that at the moment. I sipped my coffee and took another nibble of my pumpkin bread before deciding I was full. I pulled my last cigarette from my jacket pocket and slid my finger over the grooved edge of my lighter, bringing it to life. The reaching flame was the brightest light around in that few moments before the sun peaked over the hills surrounding the outdoor shopping center. I marveled at the simplicity and beauty of the flame as it slowly turned the end of the tabacco into a glowing ember.
So I was back. I said I would be back, but somewhere deep inside I don't think I ever truly believed it myself. One bad relationship after another had plagued my life as long as I could remember and yet I stood looking at dresses I could not afford as a single woman, no attachments or lovers It was a first in a long time. Why was I so miserable then? And yet I was so contented. I had learned to accept my fate, whatever it was determined to be. Right then I knew I was ok. I didn't know what lay in store from one day to the next and that thought frighened me, but for right then I was ok.
The sun broke over the hill, warm and inviting even through the Palos Verdes summer fog. I unzipped my jacket and took a long pull of the fragrant tobacco, breathing the bitter fumes. The thin leopard print belt in the window was nice, but I just couldn't understand why someone would think it looked nice on a neon purple dress. Yuck.
I moved on to the next window, sipping my coffee in deep though. The shoes lined up in the window all had the brand name Seppe in the soles. What a glorious name, Seppe. It just made me want to slide my feet into a pair of the beautiful aligator stilletos. The name made it sound like I would be stepping into a cloud, a breath of air, light and fulfilling. I had always loved looking into the shop windows at Seppe. When I was feeling down and out, sometimes it was the only thing that could make me smile again.
I jumped a little when I heard my coworkers voice so close behind me. "So did you find a place to stay?" His concerned face watched me in earnest interest. I barely knew this guy and yet he knew so much about me.
"Oh yeah. It all worked out. I mean, its weird, but it works. I'm going to stay there with him as a roommate. That's why I am working so much overtime right now. Rent is due soon." I sighed. I didn't want to think about it right then. I had worked several twelve hour shifts that week so far, and with the hour drive to and from work, it didn't leave me with a lot of time to sleep. Waking up at two in the morning was killing me. The situation I found myself living in was taking an even harsher toll on my mental state.
"See," he said, "I told you. Things always work out for the best." I sighed again at his words. I wondered inwardly who it was really best for, if it was best for anyone at all. I smiled.
"Sure does, Robert.. You were right." I pondered over my own words a moment. Had I said that for his benefit or my own?
Robert walked on, continuing the monrning patrol, and I turned to look in the window once more at a pair of red patent stilletos I had my eye on for a few weeks. The sun had come out enough to have the glass reflect my own image back at me. I looked pale and tired. I almost didn't recognize myself standing there in my guard uniform. Slowly I reached a hand up to straighten my short red hair and examine the dark circles under my eyes. I stamped out my cigarette, disgusted at myself for smoking, and walked on again to the next set of windows. Slowly thoughts of David filtered into my resistant mind.
(written entirely on my cell phone)