Noise. Their laughter and happy chatter enveloping me. I don’t know them and I don’t know what they’re talking about. But their enjoyment and happiness carries me away and surrounds me in a cocoon for a while. Mixing with the radio turned up a bit too loud. His laugh carrying over all of it. I don’t have to think, I don’t even have to feel lonely. Their feeling of togetherness is contagious, it swallows up the fact that I sit alone. This mix of people isn’t ordinary. College students and adults. All laughing and telling stories. It gives the whole place an air of warmth, friends, family. The white noise of it all brings me to the present. To the grace of friendship. Of family.

It’s fun, this atmosphere. The cold coffee sliding down my throat, a few pieces of blueberry muffin sitting in their paper. Like a half eaten flower, the center not quite gone. I sit here and type away. Surrounded by people working, socializing. Living. That’s what college is right? Living. Or learning to live perhaps. Learning to think your own thoughts. And go your own direction. That must be the ultimate goal. To figure out what you’re supposed to leave behind. What you’re meant to give to those future generations. Right now, I’m living my story. Sitting here experiencing the togetherness from a few tables away. They’re making dinner plans and reintroducing themselves. I’m writing about it. There’s no one to say whether my time or theirs was better spent. That isn’t the point. We’re all experiencing our stories. Living them. And sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

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