Privacy in Public

April 24, 2011
By Leslie,S SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
Leslie,S SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Death may come to us all, but comfort never accompanies it. No relief, acceptance, or even belief sets in until positive reflections on the past overcome the agony instilled at the moment of loss. The passing of a loved one may be expected, or random, in timing, but the official confirmation of my grandmother’s death lingers in my memories beside the scent of a Starbucks café. Commercialized, noisy, and hot. A steamy California morning coupled with a processed scone and over 20 strangers delivers me the incomprehensible news. Immediately my mind goes blank, and silences everything around me. The sun shines brighter than a few moments ago, blinding me. Never again will I sit beside her. Never again will she hold me close. Never again will the Wheel of Fortune play with the soft clacking of knitting needles in the background. My heart races, matching the pace of a hummingbird, and my stomach churns with the feeling of complete loss. Tears form, and uncontrollable sobbing comes soon thereafter. Falling into my father’s arms the heat from his body added to the sweltering weather only feeds my emotional fire. What seem like hours must have only been minutes, and after the crying ceased, and the tears merely trickled, my surroundings emerge for the first time. Busy Californians, knowing something must be wrong, are held back by the social constructs of privacy. Their sideways glances hurt more than anything they can say. This tragically public location is the home to my personal loss. The complete informal, relaxed, and common nature of Starbucks seems to laugh at me in a most inconsolable, turbulent moment. What could possibly be more rattling than death? I prithee, Starbucks, do not mock me…

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