Sebastian sat at his desk and rocked slowly. The blank computer screen lurked in front of him ominously. His bright green eyes wide open staring into oblivion as he wringed his hands in his lap. There was no sound, not even the gentle whistle of the wind could be heard. The November moon cast beams of eerie blue light through the thick wooden blinds and onto the wooden floor. The large arched window looked out across the park in the heart of a city that never slept. Sebastian kept the same hours and through his striking features, fatigue wore on his face like a mask. The scruff of his unshaven chin, complemented the tussle of his dark hair that sprouted across his head, standing from the many times he had rested his fingers through there.
This time his mind was not blank. There was no block for him to work through like before. This time his mind was a tumultuous uproar of activity and disjointed thoughts that he could not contain. He wrote in spurts of creativity that occurred without relation to each other. His notes consumed his studio much like the images consumed his mind. A poem by the bed, a page of prose on the coffee table, a half finished lyric with no music on the counter, and wads of paper filling the wastebasket.
Slowly, Sebastian stood and walked across the cold floor to the large window. He stood there looking out across his city, silhouetted by the moon, lost in the stars. He leaned against the glass, sliding one hand into his pants pocket and the other through his unruly hair. His white cotton shirt hung from his large but lean frame, his bare feet crossed. The moon was low in the sky, casting shadows long across the park and nearly empty city streets.
Dawn would come soon ending another sleepless night. Sebastian turned from the window, slipped into a pair of shoes and grabbed his coat from the chair headed for the door. The bakery would soon open and coffee was calling his name. He turned back to the window to see the first light of a new day creep slowly across the sky.
The street was still. Only a very few cars and trucks drove by as Sebastian walked along the sidewalk toward the corner store. It was a daily habit now, the girl at the counter knew him. She had his coffee and bagel ready as he walked in the door. Though she did not know his name, and spoke very little to him, it was a part of her day as much as it was a part of his. The small interaction he had these days he valued highly.
Today her smile was not as bright. She spoke no words to him and he responded in kind. Silently he paid with exact change and took his cup and bagel back out of the store. Across the street and to the park, Sebastian walked slowly through the cold morning air. Still too early for a breeze, he chooses a bench near a field to sit and enjoy his breakfast.
He sat quietly and alone sipping from the steaming cup and nibbling on the bagel. Time passed slowly, as the day opened over the world. A jogger here, dog walker there passed by hardly noticed. As he finished his bagel, Sebastian became uncomfortable. He shifted nervously on the bench and checked his watch. The last drop of coffee slid into his mouth as he looked around the park. Something of his morning was missing, and he grew more agitated as each moment passed.
Then he saw her.
Her graceful limbs flowed around her as she jogged around a corner and toward Sebastian. She was lithe and long. Today’s long tight jogging pants and large sweatshirt complemented her form. Sebastian lost himself for a moment in her casual beauty. Her gracious eyes sparkled in the early morning, as her hair bounced around her perfect face. Sebastian stood as she approached him.
“Good morning Sebastian. Did you enjoy your coffee?” Her voice was soft and kind, yet filled with confidence.
“It was a bit strong this morning.” Sebastian muttered as he glanced at her eyes before concentrating on the ground between them. “How is your run?”
“A bit late this morning, but so far it is nice. I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to do my morning runs before it gets too cold though.” She smiled at him as his eyes darted back to hers. Sebastian paused, his mouth fell open slightly, “Yes I suppose you are right, winter is quickly upon us.”
“Have a good day, Sebastian. Write well.” She winked at him, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder then jogging off through the park.
“Goodbye Elizabeth.” He muttered at her retreating form.