Summer in Mount Airy

by tamarjacobson

Today was a typical summer day in Mount Airy (my new neighborhood). Before the temperatures could rise into their usual nineties, I strode out for my morning walk down Lincoln, across at Hortter, right at Wayne, left at Sherman and over to McCallum toward my old apartment stomping grounds. On the way back I stopped in at the High Point Cafe for a crepe filed with turkey, spinach and cheddar accompanied by a very frothy, slightly wet non-fat cappuccino. Next to me were two middle-aged women quietly but intensely discussing something of importance to them. They were leaning across their small table almost reaching their faces into one another as they talked, gasped, gestured, and sighed. On the other side sat a young family, father, mother and toddler. The father was playfully teaching his young son about this and that. The mother watched them smiling from time to time, and all the while chomped pieces of blueberry scone. Others sat at tables on the sidewalk, their dogs splayed out panting in the heat of the day. I did not hear any one thing that was said even though people were up
close and personal around me. I sat silent as stone, almost as if in shock, and numbed out their voices.

It felt good to sit at my little table checking email on the iPhone,
and scribbling notes in my journal, as I munched the delicious fare cooked by the young man behind the counter. He did not seem too keen on light chatter – efficient and abrupt as he took my order, grumpily scolding me before I left, for placing my empty plate in the wrong pile. However, the savory crepe and small green salad he prepared was delicious and satisfying after my long, hot and humid walk around the neighborhood. Even so, I dropped a couple of dollars tip into the jar on the counter as I stumbled out later. 

It was the perfect spot to process the therapy session I had a few hours prior to my walk. I had left the therapist bewildered and sad. When I arrived home, I immediately donned my sneakers and before I knew it, was striding out into the Mount Airy community, breathing in the few remaining puffs of fresh air before they were swallowed up by the humidity and intensity of the heat for the day. During the walk thoughts had been rising up to greet me. Memories, emotions, words, sentences, ideas, all churning and swirling – associations brought about by the few choice phrases the therapist offered at specific moments during the session.

Not wanting to be alone, but also not wishing to share my emotional
confusion with just anyone, the High Point Cafe was the exact
place to sit and write out the main points for me that had emerged from the therapy session, and continued during my walk. I tried to listen to me without judgment. I struggled to validate my feelings. And, when there was nothing left to challenge me, I picked up my small leather pouch, affixed the sun visor hat my sister had left with me last summer when she came to visit on her way home to Israel from England, and strode out into the blinding sun light for home.