Tuesday, December 19, 2017

How I Am (Day 335)

Among the only sounds in this cool, wide lobby: 
elevators humming a hydraulic lullabye, 
doors shushing the few people waiting to emerge, 
to enter, to go up, to go home.

Silk forsythia, white noise, acoustic music—barely
discernable, gently distracting, insulating, building 
walls where there are only doors, windows where 
there are only empty spaces between museum prints 
and mirrors.

People don’t look at each other, here. 
We discreetly avert our eyes or, when pressed, 
serve up wan, unfocused smiles to those unfamiliar 
with our unwritten rules of non-engagement.

Below a bright EXIT sign, a door swings open.
A dark-haired, middle-aged man scans the room, 
sees me, smiles. 

We climb two flights of stairs (he likes to stretch 
his legs now and then, and knows I don’t mind), 
arriving in a hallway notable only for its red carpeting 
patterned with gold and black.

In his office, we sit, make settling noises, appreciate 
the crisp fall day. Then: “How’ve you been?” he asks,
eyes glinting with good humor and his greatest gift—
his superpower—an honest desire to know, 
to listen, 
to me telling him 
how I am.

The world is full of brilliant people who choose to spend their lives 
helping others. I am so grateful for them.

(c) by Hannah Six

Image: Pixabay

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