Drawing On the Paper Napkins

“This one,” would say my son pointing to a shiny glass Christmas ornament. “I want this one.”

I would smile back at him and nod. Then he would pickup that big and sparkling Christmas ball and hold it carefully in his hands.

“Can I have two? Both are very small,” would say my daughter and show me two tiny glass birds, one green, one silver.

“Of course.” And then we would stay in line to the register and both kids would hold their christmas ornaments.

Out on the street they would let me carry the package. We would walk through the streets and stop in front of every decorated storefront.

“Shall we have a coffee?” I would ask them.

“Yes, yes!” would shout loudly both of them.

It is cold on the street. We would enter a cafe and kids would order a cake or doughnut and I would get my coffee. Then they would ask to open the bag with the Christmas ornaments. And I would tell them that we should wait till we get home, as they could break them easily here. They both would agree and start singing or drawing something on the paper napkins of the cafe. Drawing small flowers and hearts and themselves dancing. I would look at them, smile and without fully realizing it  I would start drawing with them too.

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The Dotted Line

(from a midnight dream)

She saw him first. It was October and she was walking with the other passengers to the aircraft. Her flight to Munich was scheduled to depart at nine twenty five. The flight attendant led them to a small white airplane. It was dark and the yellow lights illuminated the dotted lines on the field. She saw an airplane taxied to its dock. She saw workers unloading luggage into the carts. Then she saw him. He was walking with a group of passengers from a flight that has just landed.

He looked tired and it was dark where he walked. She stopped and at that moment he also saw her. They stood for a second, then walked towards each other.

“Come,” he said standing very close to her.

She moved closer to him. She felt his lips on her hair, then on her forehead. Her hands were touching his face. Her fingers on his skin sensing the weightless print of years that have passed since she last saw him. She slid her fingers under his chin. They looked at each other. Silently, winning over the strong wind, his lips touched hers. Not a glimpse of tiredness. The tenderness of unknown victory. The victory over the past years. Over the short emails, calls, random conversations around midnight. The victory over the weeks of silence when life was too busy or too much to handle.

“I’ve missed you so much,” he whispered in to the night air close to her face.

She looked at him softly pressing her hand to his cheekbone. He kissed it. They stood in silence. One more minute. Vividly aware of the presence of their bodies they omitted the words. Resting her face on his cheek, she thought that words, especially love words, were empty shells. One walked on them on the beach and they made cracking noises. What mattered was that now they stood so close to each other. His hands around her.

She looked at the dark airfield. The beginning of a dotted line. One dot after another and the line did not have an end. “And if this line has an end the wind must take you up into the air before you reach it,” she thought and fixed her eyes on the line.

A minute has passed.

“I have to go,” her lips touched his ear. She made an intent to move away. Her ring got caught in the brown wool of his sweater. She untied it with special care and once more caressed his cheekbone. He kissed her, and the moment she left his lips were brushed by the wind. His face was numb from the cold October air.

She did not turn back until she got to the aircraft door. Then, up on the stairs, she looked in his direction. He knew she was watching him. He wanted to smile, but could not. He waved at her instead. She waved back and went inside the aircraft. He turned and headed to the airport building. The wind blew hard against his face.

Seconds later, pushing the cold glass of the rolling door he entered the empty hall. Everything was quiet. Outside the wind was sweeping over the dotted line.

“Crazy wind,” he said to himself.