A middle-aged woman cleans an ancient bathroom at the hall while those walk past sipping their first-rate coffees, examining their high-powered gadgets, straightening their skirts or skinny jeans, as scholars sit tending to their trendy bags. Papers rustle, ruffled by some, amongst soft sharp sounds; the “artist” speaks lofty words of vanity, as plastic trash-bin liners tighten their translucent grip within a space. Echoed, fragmented speech elegantly slices through along dark walls to perked ears in proximity. Moving forward the woman turns the doorknob, maroon pants stretching at her thighs positioned apropos. She opens the door and asks a question, always the same, “Is anyone there?” She asks and then waits, and then asks again. Is she speaking to me, I wonder inside of my head. I am outside, cross-wise on a wooden bench. I say, “Hello.” Located behind her, she turns to the start of my voice. I look up, wave, and then look down again. She walks inside the bathroom after a few moments and the door alone on hinges helps itself close. Light filters from under, a cool rectangular beam, as I count the brown and tan linoleum faux-marble squares which make the floor; feet apart, shoes tied, eyes sore from the pressures of a cold, waiting for something other than a daydream to happen. I reflect. She works this room then moves on. I wonder if she hopes those haunting her facilities will wait; to let the wet dry, her masterpiece to come to fruition, the mirrors pierce out bright in a shine, to show what we should appreciate; her mastermind.
We’ve trampled a million dandelions in summer only to acknowledge they hold staggering significance in spring.
I say “Hello” and “Goodbye”, but nothing more. I watch as she walks away, she draws a trash pail on wheels and a cleaning cart the same. She is appreciated- I just don’t know her name.
And then the door slams shut, just as the others do.