I will surely be the elderly woman crouched at the local diner coffee table, writing notes on napkins, speaking quietly to herself about the leaves changing colors outside.
I do not rely on a man or woman or society to cradle my habits and enjoyments, or to identify them. Sometimes I wonder of their validity, but never of what they are.
Crouching over the table, alone at a local restaurant, writing words that mean something to me—even if only to me and no one else—and creating beauty as I see it represented; these are important touchstones for me.
The sound of familiar, sweet and aromatic music, like honey in my morning tea, as I sit alone writing, reminds me that things are still beautiful; and some are circular, and some are not.
I am reminded that the beauty of one moment does not necessarily impede on the beauty of another moment; that we are all reaching and absorbing sparkling oceans of life that need not be tapered or carefully contained.
The hum of morning conversations settle on my shoulders like cotton candy. They are momentary and sugary and they dissolve as quickly as they appear. I come to this place after each red eye flight I take west. I came to this place after my abuela died in a hospital bed. I come here alone; and it is a tradition, sometimes joyous and sometimes somber, that I protect and relish in.
I will be the old woman crouched at a table at my local diner, whispering about the beauty of autumn leaves. I will not rely on another person to validate my stubborn musings.
I am your local elderly youth; I am inhabiting the space around me slowly; I am not asking for permission; and I am mumbling and wondering if anyone else sees this beauty too.
I hope they do.
Because though I do not rely on company for validation, I hope to come across other mumbling wanders too, writing away their loves and heartbreaks across the restaurant napkins of every state and country and heart they fall into.
I am in love with the way the world spins—even if it feels a bit chaotic—and the way I spin too. Some roads I’ve taken are circular; some are linear. Some places I will return; others I will roadblock for the sake of better soul maintenance.
I am the old woman, sitting quietly and mumbling. You may question my sanity, and this is fair. But I am content with the way the world spins; cracks; bends and recreates.
I am hopeful that the love stories we glorify socially, are not the only ones we believe. I hope we learn to love these moments too; the quiet ones that come and dissolve as quickly as a toddler's freshly-made joke. The simple moments where we are alone, but aware; alive, and seeing; fully awake, and yet still presently dreaming.
I am the old woman dreaming. I'd love for you to join me.
"Warning" by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.