The Arbitrary Blue Seat by Shanna Roberts-Salée

 

A quilting androgynous man was feverishly staring

at the blue plastic chair next to him

 

while I was walking by the parking lot that morning

bag and phone in hand

Not noticing the arbitrary blue seat

 

Too preoccupied because I had

yet again

burnt my silky pink tongue with the acidic excuse for a coffee

they sell at that deli

 

Drowning the acrid black liquid in little containers of milk that was suspiciously warm

and tiny packets of sugar I shake for no reason.  Three. 

 

It still tasted blisteringly hot and bitter, and I kept walking

Wondering about the quiet man I had a moment ago neglected to see

Quilting his quilt, waiting for something.

 

Someone, perhaps.  I wondered yet again

as I retraced my steps, suddenly and inexplicably curious about the man

I walked past the parking lot.  I threw out the dregs of my stupid coffee

He wasn’t there.

 

But I saw the arbitrary blue seat

It wasn’t so arbitrary anymore.

 

There were now two blue seats alone

by the sidewalk

Sitting quietly together

 

But no man anymore. 

Quiet, still.

I walked cautiously towards the left one and inexplicably

I cried.  I cried until the sun went down.

Shanna Roberts Salée is 24 years old and at a loss for describing herself. She graduated from the Communication Studies program at Concordia University in 2009 and spent a large portion of the following years travelling all over. She enjoys off-colour jokes, Douglas Coupland and all things Bob Dylan. Her eternal struggle between travelling and pursuing a career in the movie industry has not been put to rest. In the meantime, she is trying to get her first novel published, The Juilliards, the tale of a morally questionable suburban family. She currently lives in Montreal and has no pets.

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