The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
A drop of rain just hit my forehead. I pull the hood of my black sweater up to the edge of my face, tucking my light brown hair behind my ears so as to not get wet. I breathe deeply and pull my knees closer to my chest, resting my chin on the coarse material of my dark, blue jeans. I rock back onto my heels and stare at my broken, beat-up black Chuck Taylor's that I'm wearing without socks.
Looking up, I can see my neighborhood. I can see the dark, ominous clouds that the weather lady promised would bring rain. I can see the beginning of the trees to the left that outline the forest I used to sit in to write when it was summer time. Now that Autumn is in full-swing, everything seems to always have a dark shadow around it, like nothing would be as bright and happy as it would be in the summertime. Maybe the world’s getting preemptively depressed about the snow falling..
I wonder if I will ever write as good as I did while sitting in that tree. I wrote a poem about the universe and it was life-changing. I wonder if I will be ‘good’ at anything in my entire life, which seems meaningless as I sit here on the rooftop of my two-story home, admiring the general grey-ness of it all. Looking to my right, I had forgotten that I had brought out a mug of black coffee, a pen and my notebook. The trifecta of must-haves for every aspiring writer who likes to sit on rooftops and contemplate their own existence.
Reaching out with my right hand, I place my hand carefully around the large white ceramic mug, cautious to see if it would be hot enough to burn my hand, and pick it up slowly, feeling the warmth of the ceramic against my cold fingers. Bringing it up to my nose, I smell the sweet and bitter aroma of the coffee beans, or bean-soup, as my mother liked to call it before she passed. I smile briefly at the thought of her.
Placing the warm mug on my knees and keeping the rim close to my lips, I continue to inhale the black coffee. I look out to the houses surrounding my home, and wonder if they too think about how everyone has different, separate lives that all unfold so differently. Every single person in this little town has experienced today in a completely different way, and that blows my mind. Maybe I should write about it, but maybe the concept would be too abstract for people that weren't open-minded to handle.
Each person that occupies these houses, or the eleven that I can currently see, has their own struggles, their own problems, worries and woes. I start wondering about how people can fathom being so rude to one another, since this world is already so rude and terrible of a place. I sigh and take a sip of hot coffee. The taste and the warmth sliding down my throat is one of my favorite feelings. I call it my “Writer’s Juice."
I look upwards as I feel a few more raindrops, wondering how to manage writing outside while it’s spitting rain. I sigh, realizing that I would have to go back inside.
I’m grateful for this rooftop, as it gives me this little escape. I am an escapist, but I usually delve into books or writing or painting, never my own life, that would be terribly bad. Coming out here, I'm exposed to such a new level of sonder that I forget even my own reality and begin feeling so small. That's what I have to write about next.
I begin to stand up, but have a final thought. The universe works in the strangest ways, but nobody can tell how it works. I grab my notebook quickly and jot the idea down, wondering if I could somehow make a story out of it. Maybe I could make people more kind or loving just by writing. We'll have to see what I come up with next.
I open the window back up and carefully step back inside to my desk.