it is all made of people
It is exactly six months since we came here. There is a document saying so. I wake up at six to go to work. The others are asleep, looking soft and vulnerable, stripped of the defense and pretense of daytime. I step out into the morning, which is slightly misty around the edges as though it, too, hasn’t exactly woken up yet.
Against all odds and previous experience, the coffee shop at the train stop is open for business. I order a small latte and receive a large one instead from the inattentive barista who is chatting with her coworkers setting up trays of cookies as the train comes in to the station and pulls away. The next one is in nine minutes, the price of a large latte is the same as a small, and I am in the final throes of Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys, so I sit down to wait without saying anything to anyone.
On the train a guy stumbles and steps on a girl’s foot, hard. Surprisingly, she hisses through her teeth, lifting her foot to peer at it, as though she suspects a visible injury, and goes on to hop and limp around, muttering, for the best part of the next stop, looking very insulted. This honest reaction is very refreshing, though not, I suppose, to the hapless perpetrator, who looks quite bewildered.
The path from the station to work is deserted save for an elderly couple walking briskly in the opposite direction. As they pass me, I hear a snippet of their conversation in Russian: “…these dolls which they put in the shop windows where there are marriageable lasses…” says the man with a content smile. A smell of pines pervades the air, and I stop to sniff one. A welcome improvement on the previous week, it is not very hot, nor too humid. So far, at least.
I unlock the caravan, switch on all the lights, set the A/C to twenty degrees, wash some grapes, put on Franz Ferdinand and settle into my chair. There is nobody here. It is very odd to be alone, something that doesn’t happen to me much these days, something unusual for these parts where everyone is rather up in everyone else’s business. I have finished the book and am now once again considering writing one of my own, but then come to my senses. At twenty-six now, it seems I am either much too old, or entirely too young to start.