I’m not a big fan of fast food franchises. In fact, possibly the only thing I dislike more than Kentucky Fried Chicken, Panerotti’s Pizza or the ubiquitous golden M is the whole civilization which gave them birth.
So the setting for yesterday’s Wonder Moment was thoroughly incongruous.
All right, Wimpy is not strictly a fast-food take-out joint – it’s more of a fast-coffee sit-down affair – but there we were, having time to fill between pricing bicycles for Warren’s staff and getting the monthly grocery shopping done – all down Braxie’s way, on the west-ish rand.
Trying to be as inoffensive to my sensibilities as possible, I had ordered a regular coffee (which comes standard with a tall tower of hot froth, making it hard to drink for half an hour, and thus maximising the time you get to kill for the amount of money you spend), Warren had ordered a Coke (the less said about that little habit the better) and we had asked to split a chocolate crunchy waffle thing with ice cream.
Warren was deep in contemplation of his latest irritation with his staff, so I left him to introspect, and got out the shopping list – trying to commit it more or less to memory so that the ghastly chore of rounding up the household supplies would be over with quickly.
A few couples and a random solitary middle aged man or so were also seated in the abomination of corrugated iron hutment which is the Wimpy’s smoking section. The couples talked quietly with each other, the singles stared out into space or into the foam on their regular coffees.
I left off trying to memorise the shopping list as a feeling which is starting to be familiar began creeping up on me. The moment of ecstasy can strike absolutely anywhere. I still saw the people engaged in their meaningless coffee-drinking rituals, the young families gathered outside the still firmly shut doors of Pick n Pay, the House Martins wheeling acrobatically over the tin hutment – I still saw all this, and yet I no longer saw it in the same, vaguely background way. Each living soul was a …living soul.Outlined in metaphorical light, the presence of which most were unaware of – except maybe for the House Martins, whom nothing much escapes.
I was suddenly, blindingly, rapturously in love with being alive upon the Earth, among these fragmented human beings and the much more integrated non-human beings. It was a joy so deep and so all-encompassing that I’m sure I was grinning foolishly at nothing in particular – and everything in general.
The depth of feeling faded a little – and a good thing, or I would probably not been able to complete my given tasks for the day, rather preferring to sit rooted and absorbed by the cosmic ecstasy of Life.
Ah well – for such moments we might well live. For then it all clicks into place, all doubts are dissolved along with boundaries; the scrunched-up nature of ego loosens a fraction, and we are blessed to be given a glimpse of what we are, and have always been.
Pic: Yeah, a bit like that. The Light Being by Larry Carlson