Ten.Six Hundred & Thirty

1. I make a small cup of hotel room coffee. This should be weak enough that I won’t have too many tummy issues.  

2. My left nostril is clogged. I hope that doesn’t ruin today.  

3. A little bit of light from the sunrise peeking through the clouds. The light reflecting off the tiny ripples in the bay. I could totally live on the water.  

4. I eat three bites of my eggs and sip chamomile. I stuff the book and notecards back into the bag. I either know or I don’t.  

5. I pick a seat facing the window. I can see blue sky and birds and the clock on the façade of city hall.  

6. I am the first one done. He touches my elbow and thanks me for being a good listener. I don’t know what it means but I smile and take my nerves outside.  

7. I finished. Maybe now I can eat.  

8. Three Modelos at Hometown Heroes while we wait. Maybe there’s a chance I squeezed it out.  

9. He has one more certificate in his hands and I know it’s not mine. The sting of defeat and disappointment. I want to skip the dinner reservation but he insists that we still go.  

10. AR Lenoble champagne, a Sancerre Rouge, a 2003 Domaine Zinf Humbrect Gewurztraminer, 1960 Bual. Teary eyes. His invitation to come and taste with his staff on Wednesday mornings. Gratitude for encouragement from strangers.