Afraid of Everyone


It’s early 2011 and I’m at Barnes and Noble, looking for a free table in the coffeeshop. I’ve got my laptop, new back then, not so new now but it’s writing this so. It’s always busy and it’s busy now and I’m not sure I’m going to find one, and I’m dreading heading back home where I’ve promised my new wife some time alone to get some cleaning, reading, etc. done. And then something opens up, someone steps away, and there’s an outlet in the wall. I’m there. My laptop is my reservation.

Then I’m at the counter, looking at the drinks–hot or cold, sweet or bitter, this or that–and I hear on the speakers, barely, over the mannered din, about Ohio, where I lived, where I went to school, where I hoped I’d meet the girl of my dreams. I was carried, we were carried.

And it’s deep, man. It’s deep. The voice, I mean, and also I mean the words.

This is a memory but it’s a memory that will happen again. I am being quiet–no mannered din here, at my house, at 9 o’clock–because I have a baby girl who sleeps fitfully. I didn’t know back then.

Ohio has changed since I was there. It has washed me away completely, and I go back a stranger, but I never go back alone, I bring a life I never anticipated. My blood flows on in my little girl’s veins. My wife smiles and she has claimed my name. I owe money to money to money too, Matt, so I can relate but that’s not the whole story, thank God. Not the end.

Just the beginning of another story. Of another verse. Now I make my own coffee. I sit at my own table. I listen to what I want to listen to. But sometimes I still hear something else in the distance, and I know I’m just not there yet.

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6 thoughts on “Afraid of Everyone

  1. Le Clown says:

    Happy you ended up posting this one…
    Le Clown

  2. I have a baby girl who sleeps fitfully.

    Do you have a baby monitor or any other electrical device close to her little brain?

    I apologize for this being OT, but that one sentence jumped out at me.

    Congratulations on becoming a Dad. =)

    • Just in case you do have a baby monitor, I thought I’d leave this link for your information.

      “We have had various reports by parents that their babies did not sleep well and cried a lot when they used DECT monitors but were ok when no baby monitor was used.

      • That’s pretty interesting. The only electric device in her room is the camera from her monitor, which is across the room from her. I had never seen that info before though.

      • That is good to know, and I’m assuming it’s not a wifi TV monitor. Another thing mentioned in the article was lighting, and studies suggest evidence that light, even a low wattage night light (unless red or orange) affects melatonin regulation.

        Babies cry, that’s a given, but when you mentioned that she sleeps ‘fitfully’, I couldn’t help but ask. Brent, I really appreciate that you took the time to look over the link.

        I look forward to reading more of your posts. =)


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