When We Miss Someone

When I see the man’s face in the lobby, I have a wish.

He has come downstairs to the small lobby cafe for lunch, but it is closed. He could go down the block for a burrito. He could go around the block for a hot dog. But the look on the man’s face was disappointment; he hadn’t just been hungry for lunch, he had been hungry for lunch from this cafe.

And my wish is not that the cafe be open for him, though maybe that’s what it should have been.

My wish is that the owner of the cafe, who is also the entire staff of the cafe, could see the man’s face. The look said it all: The presence of your absence is felt. What an affirming thing to tell someone.

I walk by the man. He’s figuring out what he’ll do, maybe he’ll go for the hot dog.

And I think that what I’ll do is Iet that friend know how I missed her at dinner the other night.

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