Take the Other Way to Work

Take the Other Way to Work

Even a coffee cup that is upside down looks different. The handle looks more like a nose. Then as I stare, the upside down hieroglyphics look more like an email. Later the base of the cup looks more and more massive, like a silo on a farm. I drink from this cup almost every day, but rarely look at it.

Tonight I walked back to the office and felt a compelling urge to walk around the block and come at the main door from the other direction. I never do that, even though I walk here twice a day. It takes about six minutes longer to walk that way.

It’s just that I never walk this way. The familiar streets looked alien to me once again, as when I first visited my friend here. I remembered the abandoned buildings that used to be upon this street. I actually looked at the new building on the once vacant lot where empty men and hopeless prostitutes used to gather, bartering in desperation. I saw the old gabled building where I stayed up all night helping with a shelter there–now it looks like luxury apartments. I paid attention. Every brick, every sign buzzed with electric clarity under the street lights. It felt like an empty movie set, and I was the only one left on the planet.

I turned the corner, and noticed the new bars and restaurants, right next to the older corner stores and the preschool. Everything seemed interesting once again. Because my eyes were not on the ground, I saw an old friend walking her dog, talking on her cell phone. I had to really look to recognize her as she emerged from the shadows of the building. I hadn’t seen her in years. She used to be in our children’s program. She is a grown woman now. I remembered that she lived on this block. It’s just that I never walk this way.

It’s just that I never walk this way. I came to the church building from the other side. Every doorway, from this angle, looked brand new. The windows, from this direction, shone above me like stars on the first night. I just never looked at them anymore.

I approached the doorway of my office from the other way. I put the key in with my other hand for a change. It felt different, as if it were the golden key to the iron door of life, and the door swung open–in the opposite direction. It’s just that I never walk this way anymore. It takes six extra minutes to walk this way, and I have other things to do.

Now I stare at my upside down coffee cup here in the office, at the handle pointing in the opposite direction. It’s profile looks less and less like a old coffee cup, and more and more like a
face.

Taylor Field
Upside Down Devotion

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Published in: on March 18, 2014 at 2:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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