Waiting rooms are the assigned place for this hideous hobby but it’s inescapable. And once you’re signed up, you don’t choose when to jump off the hobby train. Not after this appointment and maybe not for years.
In the community, you won’t recognise the people are who are waiting. They will be in the dappled shade with their children having a picnic or on a yoga mat in the dim wooden echoes of a Scout Hall. They might be cooking dinner for the extended family or on a holiday yacht, hooking a mooring for the first time in their lives. You might see them at their computers in their office cubicles frowning diligently, or fishing with their grand children by a river’s quiet pool. They might be quietly playing LEGO on your living room rug with cheeks as smooth as buttered fish.
Waiting happens inside – and only the waiter knows how it feels. Even if they look unruffled, inside the ducks feet could be paddling. The pre-storm ants might be scurrying. The knife throwers could be busking right inside their stomachs. You can’t presume to know.
Even in the waiting room – the very engine-house of this unstoppable train – the air is calm and uneddied as a stagnant by-water. The huge vase of flowers might be plastic and never get changed – only expertly dusted. The counter is slick like brilled hair and the voices are low and controlled just the same. Some people read books. Some stare at their glowing phones. Some chat to other waiters. Most faces are closed doors.
There are other closed doors all around the edges – doors to doctor’s suites and they look like they hold answers. To be called feels like an end but mostly, it’s just a new beginning. Once you’ve been in the door and back out again, you just have a new list of questions and a new thing to wait for. You can wait in confidence or wait in dread, but still you walk around the loop of rope until you get to one end so that you can grab the other end and start again.
I originally posted this as a dVerse challenge but a comment persuaded me that the limitations of the challenge weren’t right for what I was trying to say. So I’m trying again free-form. Hoping it’s more understandable.