thoughts   |    issue 011

when another life peels away

One Friday afternoon after work, 
heading happily to my car, just delighted 
to leave before the sun is down 
I ride the elevator. 

Alone, I pucker my lips in the mirror,
see a smile not seen in months. 

Get off the first floor, 
ignore the receptionist, as always.
Push out the glass doors to the steel stair of
the backway entrance, 
when, as I was about to let go of the handle, 
I stop in my tracks, 
noticing the unencumbered right shoulder.

It just registered that I left my bag. 
Of course, there was no choice.
I have to go back up.

And so, on the return trip to the office, transcending the annoyance, I imagine the self already walking down the steps, unlocking the car door, adjusting the seat, turning the ignition. 

Why did the universe stop me from just going on? 

[That if I left the parking lot the time I would have, would an accident might have greeted me - a truck in the intersection? Would I be seeing a different cloud on my windshield, or would I be getting home in a more sour mood because of the set of songs on the radio playing in that fragment of time? The difference 2-3 minutes make.] 

Looking into the elevator mirror again,
where would I be if I did not
forget this mundane thing? 
Who would I be?

And so, another life peels away 
(the me already driving)

 © 2018 by Ishka Mejia

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