Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lunch date

Every day, all day, I sit in a cubicle covered with post-it notes and papers. Headphones deep in my ears, I sit in my beige prison and duitfully type away all day. The phones ring, people chat and the printer whirrs every few moments.

But sometimes, I escape.

Today, I burst out of the door at 11:30 a.m. and scurried into a waiting green station wagon. As I walked to the car, I was the picture of a working professional. Black boots, black pants, dress shirt, black jacket. My steps echoed on the stone walkway briskly, a no-nonsense rhythm of purpose and efficiency. Then I opened the door and slid into the car.

Once in car, my strict expression melted into a smile and my curly blond hair became wispy white ringlets. As I kissed my mother hello, I became five again. We headed to a local diner and ordered chicken fingers, mac and cheese, corn and cornbread. At least, I did. My mother substituted her macaroni with carrots and broccoli, truly adult choices.

As we chatted, my cares melted away as I bounced up and down on the black leather booth seat. We talked about puppies, family, horses and dreams as I dipped the world's best chicken strips into thick white gravy. (And I don't even like chicken strips!)

After sharing a few bites of mixed berry cobbler, it was time. With a sigh, I picked up my purse and headed for the door. My hair slowly went from white to blond as we drove back to the office, my feet stopped tapping the floor. By the time my mother had dropped me off, I was back in full-office mode. Looking longingly out the door, I pushed a white streak of hair past my temple.

It was a lovely lunch date.