Public Space

Sometimes, you can be sitting alone at a corner cafe with a lot of time in your hands. You finished all your work last night (it was a late night), and you don’t have any meetings for the day — so it’s just you, a book, and a hot breakfast sandwich you just grabbed from the store across the street. The first, warm cheesy bite feels like a great start to a pretty good day. Yet something peculiarly oppressive continues to egg you on… as soon as you finish swallowing your first bite of the sandwich, you feel the need to take another bite immediately afterwards, without giving yourself time to fully taste the food, let alone breathe through your nose while you eat. You sit there, picking up every voice around you, the fat lady with a grin too wide and a shirt too tight, her obnoxiously high-pitched trill threatening to trickle in through your nostrils and ears and mouth… and she slowly tries to fill you up, just like the jabberings of the equally obese young woman making unnecessarily flamboyant hand gestures in the air, and filling the public space with her toxic laughs.

So I continue to stuff my face in silence, taking bite after bite of my breakfast in a futile attempt to stop their voices from filling me up instead. Clearly, those two women have gotten bigger and bigger from all the nonsense that runs through their heads. Once in a while, they need to meet together to spew out this excess nonsense through a dialogue of garbage, in fear that their bodies can no longer hold the gibberish.

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