Lately, the city opened again. I may have read too many articles on (not) going back to the ‘old normal’ to see this as only positive. Yet I cannot deny that it gives me joy; watching the vibrancy people bring to this city. The day before yesterday you were one of them:
It is an early morning, the cafe has just opened its doors and you find a seat on its terrace. The tree against which you had been leaning in April on the day of the dress is still there, greener though.
A man in sloppy clothes sits reading a newspaper. Behind you two women are conversing in English with lowered voices so as not to disturb the peace. There’s the shrill sound of a spoon tapping against the porcelain cup and then being placed on the saucer. You can see the cathedral and a nicely tree-shaped shade on the brick wall. The stillness of this place in the morning is so good. But isn’t it this good because of the vibrant city life that’s about to begin? Soon the square will be filled with inhabitants and visitors. Cars and buses and taxis, bicycles and pedestrians. All these things to have seen and done! The possibilities!
A woman with orange earrings takes a sip of her coffee. Her bare foot rests on her sandal, she yawns. A woman in a blue suit puts her hair up as she walks by. An elderly man walks his dog and hums a tune. One square of a city, it slowly fills up. You count the faces of people frowning while they pass. Seven. On the right a man with his belt loose. The waiter asks if you want another drink. You think about how you always like your milk heated and served in a separate jug. You think about the hill near your house where the setting sun creates its line without me. You think: the city needs (y)our presence.