“Don’t tell anyone, but I slept in this,” I said to the girl ringing me up at Starbucks.
She smiled authentically in her glasses and blondish ponytail with some sort of pointy tattoo sneaking out by her shoulder.
I was in a day old, white v-neck t-shirt, orange basketball shorts and flip-flops. And sunglasses. At 8:45 in the morning.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a Starbucks this early. It’s been awhile since I’ve been anywhere this early.
About a month ago, a good friend of mine broke his femur and now that he’s ready to go back to work, I drive him there and pick him up everyday (my lobbying to get him to sell all of his guitars and Star Wars memorabilia so he never has to work again has, up until this point, failed).
“And by the way,” I said to the glasses girl who was now pouring my coffee, “I wore this all day yesterday too. Right here actually.”
“I don’t think anyone would ever know,” she said kindly. Not trying to be kind, but actually kindly. Personably.
“I look like a homeless prostitute,” I said.
It quickly occurred to me that I maybe should have censored that joke. But it was too late. It already jettisoned out of my mouth on autopilot.
Thankfully though, instead of rushing me off the line she said, “But I’m sure you smell better than a homeless prostitute.”
“How would you know what a homeless prostitute smells like?” I asked.
“Maybe they smell terrific in the morning,” I added cheerfully.
And now I sit here writing this on my phone from a table in front of a Starbucks.
Like a vampire immune to the sun, listening to the early morning people speak. As their words fall out of their faces on autopilot.
As the wind passes through the palm trees.
As I scratch my ankle after a mosquito landed.
As I think of my father and other lost loves.
As I’m grateful for the life flowing through my body.
As I feel a little fear creep in through the back door of my mind.
As I’m caused to remember, thankfully, that enlightenment abides underneath my fear and underneath all other feelings as well.
As I think about who might be reading this right now. And how I wish that person well. And how I send them love. Whoever they are. Without exception or expectation.
And, as I realize why I’ve been moved to write so randomly this morning. To tell whoever might be reading this that underneath all of their stories, especially the one entitled, “I’m Not Good Enough Yet,” enlightenment abides there also.
It’s who you really are.
So, with that, go easy on yourself this morning. And go easy on others too.