Cling. Clang. Tink. A Poem.
Updated: May 8, 2020
Hi everybody. I hope you're doing well and staying safe.
So, here I was about to write a second draft of a blog post I'd come up with- when this playlist began playing on my laptop. It was merely the sound of a café. No music. Just the clinging of silverware and the muffled voices of people chatting away. I immediately started to cry. You may not know but I was working at a restaurant for 5 years- and then the pandemic happened. I was quite fond of my work and my coworkers. I started to cry when I heard all those familiar sounds that I hadn't heard in almost two months. And, as every creative type knows- from pain, comes creation. I blew my nose and started writing. Here's what I came up with. Please enjoy.
I’m in one of my go-to coffee shops. I smell the strong scent of espresso. Maybe with a hint of chai or cinnamon. Maybe with the smell of something delicious being baked to perfection. A big round mug is brought to me by a sweet woman who asks if I need anything else. I’m waiting on one more thing, thank you. She smiles and walks away. I’m reading. Or writing in my journal. Or typing away on my laptop. I hear a conversation a table over where the guy isn’t sure where to go with his characters in a screenplay. I hear another conversation between two young ladies talking about a love interest. They’re young and naïve. They’ll learn, I think. I take a moment to recall what I’ve learned in life and love. Not much. I continue with whatever I’m doing. I sip my latte. It’s perfect; foamy, rich and creamy. I smile and think, what a perfect day. I’ll sip in this day and revel in it while it’s still today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Cling. Clang. Tink. Crash.
I clock out of work for the night. It’s not our traditional closing time. We closed up early because so did everywhere else. Everything is closed. I clear a table where I’ve just told a group of teen girls that I don’t know when we’ll be open again. They give me a look of confusion and condolence. They don’t understand. It’s just a job. I’ll be back. Maybe. I feel it well up like a puffy cloud in my chest. I sit down in the back and cry. My friend pretends he doesn’t see me cry and gives me a hug goodbye. Goodbye friend. I don’t know when I’ll see you again. Normally I would say that I’ll see him tomorrow or on the weekend. That’s not true. I struggle to leave. I can’t leave. I want to go home and cry but I don’t know the next time I’ll be here. I linger. I look around. Is that it? Is everything done? The guests have left and the place is clean. I hear the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen. I see my manager taking stock of the bar. I say goodbye and I’ll miss her. Finally with a heavy sigh, I go to my car. I walk by the dumpsters like I’ve done a thousand and more times. I look up at the night sky. I have a one-track mind. Go to the car. I sit my things down and shut the door behind me.
Cling. Clang. Tink. Crash.
The floodgates open. Tears. Heartache. My chest hurts. My eyes are sore. I hit the inside of my car with my fists. My whole world stopped. It seemed to happen in slow-motion and in an instant. I have no job. I have no income. I have nowhere to go. I can’t even get a hug from my friends who need consoling as well as I. What happened? What is this virus? How bad is it? How bad is it going to get? What should I do? How will I get through every passing day?
I get by. I am grateful I don’t have the virus. I am grateful that my family doesn’t have it. I wake up grateful for the food in my fridge and the people still in my life. I am grateful. Saddened. Hopeful. I take this time- to learn about
history, the world…
new skills, old skills…
human emotion, anxiety, depression…
I wake up everyday grateful for the life that I have had up to and including this point. I know that this period will end. I know that I will be back in that coffee shop. I know that things will be different. I know that I will be different. I hope that the world will be better.
Cling. Clang. Tink.
Thank you for reading. I want to take a minute to say that I am so sorry if you have experienced a loss -any loss at all- in this time and you are not alone. This affects every single one of us and we are all in this together, even if we are physically apart. If you are working in the frontlines, you are a brave soul. Thank you for your time and effort. I do hope the world is a little bit better after all of this. It certainly is better with you in it.
If you would like to reach out, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you again for reading. Stay inside and stay safe.