The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Open

July 20, 2008

Open

I am open. Open in mind, body and spirit. Open to new ideas, new experiences, new adventures, new absurdities.

I walk to the Coffee Bean on the corner, strains of Chris Issak singing Return To Me floating through my head. The tune is poignant and sweet, but mostly, I am thinking about how so very open I am. Open to possibilities. Open to making eye contact. Open to smiling at anyone and everyone.

I have been told that if I am open, others will be open to me. They will be drawn to me. They will be bowled over by how so very open I am. They too will want to make eye contact and smile. They will come to me.

I enter the Coffee Bean, my head held high. I scan the room. On the other side of the café a man wearing headphones is working on his laptop. I point my openness towards him. Surely he will sense my how open I am and look up. Surely the way I order my Sugar Free Non-Fat Mocha will reflect how willing of a person I am to try new things.

The man continues to work on his laptop. His eyes never leave the screen. Hm.

But because I am open I do not dismiss this one event as a sign. Perhaps he is merely distracted. Perhaps the computer screen holds life-changing truths that are infinitely more important and fascinating than me.

I wander back on the street, Sugar Free beverage in hand, humming and relishing in my openness. I look at the faces of the people that pass me. I try to make eye contact. They look ahead and continue to walk. Hmm.

At the grocery store, I wander up and down the aisles looking for milk, yogurt and candles. I pass a man pushing a grocery cart. I meet his eye and smile. He looks vaguely uncomfortable and looks away. I try this again with someone else – he simply has no expression at all.

At that moment, I realize that while I may be open, no one else really seems to be embracing this concept. And if you look someone in the eye and they do not look back at you, you are no longer an open person. You are that creepy girl that is starring at everyone. Keep smiling and you become that crazy woman with the too-wide grin. People stay away from crazy women with too-wide grins.

Maybe, I think, I should be a little less open. Perhaps I shouldn’t think of myself as a wide open door, but as one of those automatic sliding doors that only open when someone approaches it.

I get in line and pay for my groceries. I smile and thank the cashier. He hands me my change, but he is obviously looking over my head. James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful comes over the store speakers. This was the song that played the first time The No Longer and I went to Happy Hour.

My smile disappears. I lower my eyes and gather my groceries. I hurry towards the exit, meeting no one’s gaze. As I approach, the sliding doors open.

I step outside and breathe.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Welp...I am glad I read the other one first! ;)
I think remaining open is VERY good...very Hard, but very worthwhile.

While others get sucked into their hurt, shut down and hide....you are open. Not without risk, but with great reward.

Keep on keeping on, dear friend.