A moment on the street

Trip Start Jan 03, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Thursday, May 3, 2007

As I was walking the streets of Washington, I saw two people sitting
on a terrace. A nearly empty bottle of red wine stood between a man
and woman who were sitting at a small table. It seemed like nothing
could distract them from the reason they were there. I slowly sat down
on the curb, making sure I was out of their view.

Her skin was coffee-colored. Not the strong kind of coffee that knocks
you off your feet, but with two, maybe three clouds of milk. As she
was talking to him, he wasn't able to divert his eyes. He had just
given her two silver ear-rings, which she immediately put on her ears,
just after she had put her hair up ever so elegantly. Pointing
downward, the earings seemed to draw two lines, defining a border for
his gaze. With melancholy he checked the clock and knew the moment
wouldn't last much longer.

As his mind tried to recap the conversation, it was as if he already
couldn't remember what was said; it was as if the words were stored
around him, but not inside. The only way he could imagine describing
it would be as this one time with this one person on this one night.
She got up and looked at him while he lingered for another three
seconds staring at the empty chair. She had undone her hair again and
while she looked up at the street-signs, crossing F and 11th street, I
could see she was beautiful. She possessed a beauty that would only
allow time to touch her skin, but never the glow that surrounded her.
It was the glow that only encases very few in life. I envied the guy
for an instant, but no longer than their walk to the corner of the
street.

As they exchanged their last words for the night, she had grabbed his
hand and looked at him as if she wanted to say something she couldn't.
The way she held his hand, it was as if she had done it once before, a
shared memory in both their pasts. Then he took a step forward and
they hugged. He whispered something in her ear and she smiled. They
both turned around, but only a few steps later they turned
simultaneously and hurried back to again embrace on another. I knew
then they wouldn't see each other again for as long as life would have
it.

Then for a split second, I felt I wasn't there anymore - I thought I
was that guy right there on the corner and the girl was someone I had
known from long before. But with the final waves of both their hands,
that moment also ended. I put down my pen and stared back at the two
empty chairs on the terrace.

I wish I could have told them how much that moment had meant to me
then. But deep down inside, I like to believe they already know. And
that some day I can witness another of their meetings, as that one
memory is as much a part of mine, as it is theirs.
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