Will Always Linger
A chunky brown soup is being ladled into small squat bowls. All around, people are tearing off pieces of white bread from the same shared baguette. They then dunk these pieces into their bowls and eat with their hands like children. It is Christmas so no one seems to mind. And as they eat, conversations erupt all around like small explosions. They are all strangers but share similar stories. Each is telling his or hers while all around, a gracious laughter dances in between. Like a rich fabric, they are all being woven together.
A floor above, a young man with smart glasses and narrow shoulders is watching his baby daughter sleep. He painted the walls of her room a light pink months before she was born, and in this moment can still smell that certain newness. Her name is Japanese in origin and she is only ten months old. But already so, when he is holding her and people pass by, they say she has a beautiful smile and how it resembles his. He himself is half Japanese and the story of how his parents met has a certain specialness to it that he likes to keep to himself. His sister though, tells the story often to friends and strangers alike, and when she does he promptly tries to change the subject.
Outside, a room away, with the television flickering colorful lights all around the dark room, his wife sits. It is on but she is not watching. She is thinking of other things and is quickly bouncing from place to place. She remembers being a child and sitting in her grandparents’ kitchen as her grandmother blended tomatoes, old bread, and garlic and the sound of her grandfather’s heavy steps as he came in from the garden. She then thinks about how five years ago she was just a girl living a fairy tale, and suddenly now how she is a woman, a wife, and a mother and how that itself sometimes feels like a dream. She then thinks about twelve years ago and sitting inside the doorway of an old bar where inside tails of smoke puffed out of the lips of rowdy drunken Spanish men, and how next to her, a very handsome half Spanish half Japanese boy stole her heart as his eyes went alit as he talked about his father and mother and the story of how they met.
Soon lights all around will be turned off, and the snow will begin to melt. And like the melting of the snow, the ebb and flow of time will always linger as laughter and stories are passed between us all.