Patiently waiting for her to finish, I turn my attention to the milk, debating 2% vs. non-fat. My pediatrician once told me I “made his day” by choosing Soy and avoiding dairy. I no longer recall his name, and as such, his take on calcium remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of my life. Perhaps it originated from a psychic prediction of the “Got Milk?” capitalist ads that would infiltrate our society and crush his hippie dreams. Or, more selfishly (and more likely, in my opinion), it was an extreme case of lactose intolerance and reverse hypochondria that willed him to wish his own diagnosis on innocent children.
Most days I rebel and savor white mochas or cafe lattes, the memories of cereal served with apple juice scarred too deeply in my mind. But today, the 5 year old inside me would feel guilty disappointing him. I refrain and stare instead at the community bulletin board just to my right, waiting patiently.
On weekdays, there’s a surprising lack of people to watch at 10:35 AM, at the intersection of Kearny and Bush Street in downtown San Francisco, leaving me with no choice to further contemplate her actions instead. My observation accompanies a feeble hope that telepathy, or at the very least, awkward silence, might will her to move faster.
Most would give up and run. Instead, having waited so long, I convince myself this will all be over soon. My iPhone rings for the umpteenth time with a reminder for a meeting that started now, one minute ago, two minutes ago, five...
Piece by piece, she inspects and handpicks each individual topping for her oatmeal, seemingly fascinated by her the colorful raisin selection before her. The last raisin makes my heart pound excitedly and I jump too soon, reaching halfway across the distance between us, when she starts in on the coconut, shred by shred. A Mary Poppins lost in a concoction she finds supercalifragilisticexpialadocious, and incites me to shove the spoonful of sugar I was just about to grab straight down her ...
“Oh my, am I in your way?!” she asks. Her inquiry lies somewhere between an Urkel “Did I do that?” and the falsely apologetic shock of that girl at the bar who just hit on your boyfriend.
... throat. I laugh. “But of course not!”.
She continues her masterpiece, and I reach for the milk instead.