A Moment Caught in Words

I’m on the bus, waiting to go home. It’s been a long day, having had five hours of class – the days feel longer since I began university.

We’re stopped at one of the lights and it’s in one of the ‘better’ suburbs, the kind that doesn’t know steel roller-doors for the sake of safety. Through my dislike of eye contact with the other passengers, I find myself staring out the window.

People trickle through the street – given the time of day there aren’t many shoppers around now, instead heading home or going to dinner. The restaurant could almost be called a hole-in-the-wall, considering the width allows for a line of tables and the fact that in front of the store is a food-preparation counter. Despite the tiny restaurant, the board above the entrance is bright yellow and the lettering is unusual, bubbly and round. 

Behind the counter is a young-looking man who looks to be preparing naan breads, from my inexpert eye. He twists and twirls the dough easily, effortlessly, and I wonder how long he’s been there. He doesn’t notice that someone is watching him and transfers one bread to the hot plate beside him, and I cringe at the closeness – at how easy it would be to burn yourself. It’s a system he has going, and evidently one long-practiced. I watch him transfer the dough to hotplates and twirl it easily, shaping it into something before cooking it.

People pass him, and he is unnoticing, entirely focused on his task. I wonder if he ever pauses to watch someone walk by, if he ever makes up stories about the people he sees. Even as I wonder this, I decide that he does not, opting instead to work. He looks as though he enjoys the task, and I can see why: there’s something soothing about the repetition. I envy him the peace of his environment. There are a few people around a table, but it looks overall quiet and calm, a contrast from the noise of the campus I’ve just left. It seems he has the patience I lack and the almost-meditative state I wish I could gain. Maybe this is his respite from a noisy environment.

How long he does this for, I have no idea. The light turns green and my bus pulls away, curving around a corner and the little restaurant vanishes from view.



15 thoughts on “A Moment Caught in Words”

  1. Well, that perfectly underlines the DP Challenge of the day, eh? And of course you’re right: the candid shot shows more of the subject’s persona, every time.


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