The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
–Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”
The red chairs sat and waited. They waited for the crowds to come. They waited for the children with their sand toys to jump on them, dirtying them with their sticky fingers. They waited for the women in bikinis to lounge across them, after first setting the chair back at just the right angle to create a smooth body silhouette. They waited for men in swimsuits too large or too small to heave themselves into the chair before pulling out their smartphone to catch up on emails or read the latest headlines.
The red chairs sat and waited for the sweaty backs, the hairy chests, the cleavage, the lumpy asses, and the sandy toes. They waited for the laughter, the sighs, and the easy conversations. They waited to be put to use. They waited for their purpose.
The red chairs sat and waited. They waited like the eager kindergartener waits for the first day of school. They waited like the teenager waits with dramatic angst to be rid of teachers, midterms, curfews, and parental controls.
They waited like the young women in love waits for her down-on-one-knee proposal. They waited like the betrothed then waits for the Big Day.
They waited like an expectant mother waits for the first labor pains and then waits for the pain to –please God! – be over. They waited like sleep-deprived new parents desperately wait for just a few hours of sweet slumber.
They waited like a college graduate waits for a job interview, an internship, anything to pay the bills. They waited like a disgruntled worker waits for a new boss, a new job, or retirement.
The red chairs sat and waited. They waited for praise and appreciation, for purpose and utility. They waited, like we all wait, telling ourselves that once we achieve this or obtain that, then we will be happy. Then we will have it all. Then…then…then…
The red chairs sat and waited. They waited under umbrellas that offered just the right mixture of sun and shade. The red chairs sat and waited, never realizing that, right here and right now, they had the best seats in the house to one of nature’s greatest artistic displays. Never realizing that, even without the crowds of beach-goers, they had a purpose.
The red chairs sat and waited, never realizing that, alongside the other idle red chairs, they were not alone. Never realizing that, right here and right now, they were happy. Never realizing that, right here and right now, they already had it all.