The hanging necktie said a lot about me. It was pre-tied to a perfect length, stylish, and a not-too-pricey brand.
An annoyed silence filled the room, at times interrupted by brief chatter or voices from the hallway. Background music seeped in from the gallery, the same Big Band-era tunes in an eternal loop.
He searched for something to do, something work-related, and was only a tiny bit frustrated by his inability to stop circling back to Facebook every few minutes.
Same shit, different day. Cold coffee, co-workers texting, sleeping, getting in moments of rest amidst an environment of fleeting certainty, at best. Calm waters this morning, not a ripple yet seen.
Sitting with my legs crossed in my living room. Our living room.
I heard a familiar knock on the door, a percussive barrage followed by the tone of our half-functional doorbell.
I met her at the door. She greeted me with her signature upward-facing hug stance, arms enveloping me and closing in on my tired shoulders. Smiles, kisses and “I miss you’s” included, bounced back and forth between us. A later day for me, as well as it being an early one. A standard day for her, extended through readings and online classes.
We type and lounge in a harmonious silence, only topped by the hum of the AC.
I made my way down the steeply inclined one-way street to the large rotunda on Riverside Drive. A few arm swings and leg stretches later, I slowly took off.
No smartphone, no headphones, not even a watch, I only focused on what I can see, hear and feel around me. My sneakers bounced off the not-so-even pavement. I concentrated on my breathing, my form and keeping a steady pace. Every now and then another runner would pass by in the opposite direction. I would see old men playing dominoes on their special tables up ahead while I benchmark my timing by the next biggest tree.
“Take at least 20 seconds to get to that next big tree. Take it easy, nice and slow,” I thought to myself. The sound of tires on cars driving by and young children I just passed were minimal distractions, if at all.
After about 15 blocks I turned around. Always mindful my body, surroundings, and own thoughts, running is my favorite kind of meditation nowadays.