Patience in Waiting by Wybra Holden

Some people, like my momma, for instance, say patience is staying calm and cool even when you want to jump out of your skin waiting in line at a drive-thru at a certain coffee place in the summer in Phoenix, when it is 109 degrees, when you need that coffee so you can cope with the coming storm of a trip to the doctor with sick kids, but you don’t get that coffee and head off to the appointment gone commando with no caffeinated help. Then you are waiting there at the office at seven a.m., right now, and you’re waiting and your two kids are yelling, crying, screaming, driving you crazy so you decide to go to the reception desk. “Excuse me, ma’am.” The lady on the other side of the desk is on the phone. Though you know she’s already overwhelmed in the first two minutes of being open, probably scheduling another appointment, you still say, “Excuse me, ma’am,” a little louder like she didn’t hear you the first time. Then the reply from her is “How may I help you?” and you say, “I would like to reschedule this appointment,” not realizing you will probably have to wait longer next time. But you cannot see past this scene because you told your momma she was wrong, and goddammit, you gotta prove that, and plus the coffee you have not had is waiting for you, and you’re going to wait in traffic to get that coffee on the way home after not seeing the doctor you needed to see, and you wait in line to pay for this coffee, not a long wait, but a wait that sprouts heads like some Greek monster. Then a stranger turns around and sees you in your huff and speaks to you without your permission and says that there is no reason to be upset about something you have no control over. You are fuming mad and not ready to hear that. But something about truth has a way of beating back the hot fires of your rage. Life really is a big wait. When you sit back later that night you roll that around in your brain like some gum ball and conjure up a wow, how that was like, wow… that dude was right. You see that we wait for everything. We wait nine months in our mother’s womb to get out; we wait to get older; we wait to be fed. You can go on and on, and you begin to practice patience, maybe even under the bad moon of doctor’s offices. It isn’t easy. Sometime you’re going to be waiting and you see that you too are waited for. As you wait for this moment of writing to end, I’ll be waiting for the next one to begin, calm and cool like Momma said.

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