A Waiter


Some Waiters skulk, others are brash and open, but we all wait.

I wonder what my first thought was after first becoming aware? After first becoming aware of time? After first becoming aware that I was waiting?

Waiting comes in many flavors. Some involve a defined objective, a defined sequence, a sense of predictability and probability. Others seem to involve nothing but waiting until nothing happens, then waiting some more until, nothing ever having occurred, the waiter expires, unmourned, unnoticed, unmissed; a cipher in time, perhaps an accident in existence.

I’m waiting for something but I don’t know what.

Something that perhaps I’ve always awaited. Something that is due to pass nearby sometime soon, just as it always has. Something which once passed will be gone forever so that if we fail to connect the reason for my existence will be as if it had never been. The quest un-started. Just another wasted life.

I wonder if most lives are like that.

The waiting is boring, … now.

It wasn’t always boring, not when there were preliminary stages to fulfill, some meaningless, others brimming with significance and, of course, everything in between. Crises building to climax but unable to peak. For some reason the preliminary stages now seem complete so waiting becomes tedium and a bit disconcerting. Perhaps a few more preliminary stages would be welcome but none seem available.

Tedium, but active tedium, tasteless now, without odor or color, echoes abounding in shadows but no longer meaning anything, at least not anything that matters. I wonder if I’m prepared, if I’ve peaked too soon. I’m tired but a lot of that seems more boredom than lassitude. I wonder, looking at everything and everyone surrounding me, why none of it seems right.

I remember taste, the immense variety of flavors, some delightful, others repulsive. And textures and odors. And sounds, their range from exquisite and sublime to cacophonic and shrill, meaningful and meaningless, misinterpreted and misunderstood as well as enlightening and illuminating. And sights, sights of all kinds, in color and in black and white. And dreams, there for an instant and then gone.

What, if anything, will remember me I wonder? Then I wonder if it matters …

And I wait.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

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