The building was tucked in between the outer walk and the lecture building. The dirty, turquoise, huge A/C was humming making a pleasing barrier between the outside world and the inner peace of the refuge inside. Pancakes, eggs and slightly burned coffee greeted anyone in need of rest , food and strong brew to keep on. The navy blue cushion sank in a squishing whisper underneath me. I stared at a plate nearby smelling of something that I would NOT eat. The guy was carving into it with vigor, while reading an engrossing paper. It was amazing that he found his mouth. I snorted while I pulled out my kleenex. Smells of bacon and fried apples made my stomach sing and the clamor was just enough sound to be reassuringly alive.
Of all the times, I have been here, I have never eaten much. Always, there had been assignments, worries and class lectures in which to be overwhelmed. There was a familiarity here that I had missed, not like the last few hours. With a little tugging, I sipped the tangy, bitter, hot cup. My tears spilled over, I missed my mild, creamy mochacchino with the foam deep inside that buried my nose.
The woman in the matching mask and bear t-shirt ( she always seem to wear), came by, lifting the pot inquiringly. She spoke an order into her wrist band. “Aren’t you empty? ” She asked me, as always, putting some silverware down. ” Cavern toast will solve that. ” and she rushed away to the next crowd.
I shrugged and nodded, not sure what I would be eating and too tired to care that my own mask was around my neck. I shook my head and wiped my tears. I sipped more of the hot, bitter brew. Wrinkling my nose at the burned smell. I had no luck in getting any other drink. I stared at the pictures on the walls around me.
They were pictures of food, plates with mounds of grits with pools of butter or white peppered gravy, eggs staring up and wheels of sausage. The photos were all faded and tinged with brown. Pictures, showing events on campus, were crammed into sort of a grouping. Some of the pictures had lots of bushes, trees and flowers in large beds. Some were of floral paintings on the walls around dirt piles. The buildings were somewhat the same, but the pictures were so different and yet full of people. I looked around glad to be back and to have someone else serving me food.