Harper fetches a decaf green tea, dodges a chocolate croissant and sits by her newly-acquired desk. Contemplating, whirring, lazily trying to collate her thoughts on the subject of availability.
When she has lunch everyday at five past twelve, rarely anyone joins her. “I like it,” she admits, sipping her tea. “I’m quite antisocial and it wouldn’t be fair to them if I replied to messages while they talked adult stuff.”
Harper says “adult stuff” like the lady to her right isn’t three years older than her. “Yeah, but she’s building a house.” And that was the end of that conversation. She alludes to the rhetoric of being available in a society so nuanced in its busyness. She hardly finds the time nor (definitely) the energy to even sit her butt and finish her little novella, about three years old now.
FM: What’s it about?
H: A limping girl. With a secret.
FM: Sounds obvious.
H: See my dilemma?
And she blames everyone’s attendance in her life though she is mostly preoccupied by napping.
FM: I remember once you saying how cumquats should not look like oranges.
H: Because one grew large enough to be mistaken as a mandarin. Do you know how unfairly disappointing that was? It was summer.
FM: Perhaps this limping girl grows cumquats.
H: And while she’s trimming the plant, she falls on her bad leg illiciting a small cry of pain. And who but comes?
FM: A gentlem-
H: A cat. Or at least, I’d like to think it’s a cat.
Then she drifts off on a tangent about croissants.
Harper finds herself always on the lookout for the presence of wonder. One time she went to climb the peak of a mountain simply to sit and stare. Her best friend panicked, thinking she was about to fall off (and mighty be such death), but she simply shrugs in amnesty. She says that sitting on hilltops or mountain peaks at a summit high above ground makes her grow nervous in anticipation for the wondrous unknowns. She asks, “Have you ever felt that?”
And I am reminded by the time I decided not to climb that gargantuan Redwood tree because I was afraid to get scratched.
“Live freely,” she says, blinking a few times. “Unapologetically.”