Years Only Happen Here Now
by Jaxon Bradshaw
Editor's note: 'Years Only Happen Here Now' was the fourth piece published in our Smoking Under the Mistletoe series in December 2016. The series also includes 'The Christmas of '96' by Lis Stanford and 'Childhood Wasteland' by Isabelle McCauley, and 'A Letter From Rudolf' by Rachel Sheldon.
There was a diner I passed by the other day
Filled with families and eccentrics
And everyone looked perfectly fulfilled
By the coffee in their hands.
I stood there for a moment
And felt years slipping by
With each sip they took.
I noticed two more diners on Broadway as I walked
And I thought about stopping in each one
But then a cold gust of wind
Would hit me in the face
And remind me of those screaming zeroes
That plagued my bank account.
I knew that soon I would be on a plane
Heading back to spend time
With family and friends around a table
With a cup of coffee
And it would all be free.
But each sip would only be a minute
And after fifteen or so
I would be done.
My conversation would come to a gentle end
And I would take off,
To come home.
It became clear to me,
As I felt my face freeze over
And my hands go numb,
That I may go back there—
At least for a while—
But that time would still be
Counted in minutes.
Years only happen here now.
Thumbnail image by Evelyn Stetzer.