Life gets hectic sometimes.
Today, much of my afternoon was devoted to my research paper on the Iranian-Saudi Arabian proxy war in Yemen. After a few hours of reading and writing, my brain decided to go on strike. I grabbed my journal and wallet and drove about 10 minutes to Mixed-Up Cup, a small frozen yogurt/ice-cream/health-food joint (yeah, I think it’s an odd combination too) to eat dinner and refocus my thoughts.
I had several reasons for my mini-excursion.
- This afternoon alone, Mixed-Up Cup was donating a percentage of revenue from each order to Southern’s Communications Club. While I am technically a member of the Communications club, I am embarrassingly uninvolved in their events or fundraising activities. I figured this purchase would be a small way to redeem myself.
- More importantly, Mixed-Up Cup offers free coffee to customers.
- Most importantly, I needed a brief getaway.
After I ordered ridiculously expensive avocado toast, I sat in the small shop and looked out the window. I noticed two boys playing baseball on the lawn outside. I noticed a little girl with white leggings and small cowgirl boots crying in the parking lot.
I turned around and observed customers filling their cups with frozen yogurt. One young, college-aged couple got so distracted hugging and kissing in the middle of the room they momentarily forgot about their ice-cream. Another couple, likely in their late twenties, sat on a bench directly in front of the storefront window. The man was wearing a shirt that said, “The catnip made me do it.” When he sat down, his pants slid half-way down his rear, revealing a substantial portion of his underwear to the world beyond the window.
I noticed the only visible employee, a young woman in her late teens/early twenties, running back and forth between the cash register and the open kitchen where she was preparing my avocado toast. I noticed the Chinese tattoo on her wrist.
I noticed that my coffee was getting cold.
I noticed a well-dressed man with hiking boots and a kind face order frozen yogurt, smile at me, then leave.
As I ate my avocado toast, I noticed a little blonde-headed boy with huge, vibrant eyes, probably four or five years old, peek his head over a half-wall partition and stare at me with a huge grin.
I smiled back and asked him his name.
“My name is Ashton,” he said. “But I don’t live here.” He added, as if I was wondering.
“Oh, you don’t? Do you wish you lived here?” I asked, figuring the boy would say yes. Who wouldn’t want to live in an ice-cream shop?
“No!” he answered, as if I had asked a stupid question. “I wish I lived in the clouds!”
I asked Ashton how old he was. He didn’t answer, but rather ducked behind the wall and ran away.
I noticed I was noticing a lot. I hadn’t touched the journal in my purse. I hadn’t touched my phone. I thought to myself how unfortunate it is that I don’t watch people more often; how unfortunate it is that I am so busy I forget to notice the small details that make people and life so unique; how unfortunate it is that my days are so consumed with news, school, work, and stress that I forget the value of human life; and how unfortunate it is that I don’t live in the clouds.