Musings on the Plaza

and the World at War

The curse of this Sunday morning is the pain of my indigestion.

I sip my coffee here in Latte Land on the Plaza and try to suppress the discomfort. One must be careful not to moan on Jefferson Street. It is not allowed.

What makes this indigestion all the more disquieting is the realization that it might be the result of the coffee itself. Ah, once the cure, now the curse.

Coffee has always been a fine companion to the thought process, to reflection, study and creation. A side dish with food for thought. It would be hell to give it up.  It might help to get my mind off the pain, to find a distraction out the window, hmm… or around the room…

Out along Jefferson Street the air still carries the bite of late winter. Pedestrians, impatient for spring, strut in ball caps and sport coats. There are beagles on leashes. And an SUV cruises by with tinted windows and the chalk of road salt on the sidewalls, in search of a car wash, oblivious to all but itself.

And there are newspapers, plenty of newspapers here in Latte Land - in the hands of young men sitting, bespectacled, in tall stools. There are papers left in chairs by the window, pitched to the floor. There are more outside, their headlines pressed like noses against the glass of dispenser boxes on the clean-swept sidewalks.

And the headlines blare, "Turkey denies U.S. use of bases," so the hawks plot new moves while promoters of peace grasp now at a sliver of hope, and a glimmer of light shines in an otherwise very dark day.

"Car bomb kills dozens in Afghanistan," another headline reads, and the price of war is debated in dollars and cents in the halls of Congress while orphans in the mountains walk away with a handful of handout that is supposed to provide sustenance for another few days, a few more days. Another flicker of light. Another glimmer in a very dark year.

It occurs to me now, how the indigestion I feel in Latte Land is not at all like the pain in the bellies of the hungry.

I think of this now — as I gaze up Jefferson Street, past the fine late-winter garments of the Plaza Class elite and their well-groomed puppies, past the broom-swept sidewalks, beyond an SUV, shiny now from a recent soft scrub, past the newspaper racks and the suffering of millions in fine type — and I sip again from the fragile paper cup that holds my coffee.

Collected written works  |  Gary Marx


Looking for a Chicago

    Dog in Cow Town

In Death’s Waiting


Living in Interesting


Remembering 9/11

O Little Town

    of Mythlehem

A Minor Distraction

Giving the Computer

    the Boot

The Depth of These


In Defense of


The Tale of the

    All-Seeing Bob

Morning Drive

    on the First Day

Fruit Stands in October

Moving Day,

    Oscar Night