I was my usual morning mess when I walked to the coffee shop at the crack of dawn today -- wild bed head, wrinkled clothes, bleary eyes. I think I may have actually brushed my teeth.
As I tied Uma's leash round a pole, I spied a coffee shop regular sitting at an outdoor table. We traded hellos. I followed with the obligatory "How are you?" and expected a variation of "Ok, Good, Great."
What I got instead was this: "I am divinely wonderful."
Now that will get your attention.
I actually stood up from where I was working the leash and peered over the flower planter to get a better look. I laughed and told her I hadn't heard that one before.
I see this woman nearly every morning. In pouring rain, snow, terrible heat. She's one of a handful of folks who drip into our neighborhood coffee house at the same time. We're the 7 o'clock crew. Or thereabouts.
I imagine there's an entirely different cast of misfits who frequent the joint at 7:30. And another wave that sweeps in half an hour later. On and on, throughout the day.
Anyway, this woman walks with her husband and usually their small dog too. They carry their own travel mugs. She's ridiculously beautiful: lean, fit, lovely gray hair, a happy, healthy face.
Like the others in my "morning crew," I don't know her story. Not really.
Her name is Bobbie. I don't even know how to spell it. Don't know if it's her given name or a nickname. She has a daughter. In college, I think. She likes Obama. She may work on the Hill. She once taught aerobics and got out of a ticket by batting her eyelashes at a cop. These are the details I've gleaned over short conversations to and from the shop in and out of seasons.
Her husband is a looker too. My favorite barista calls him Hans Solo.
I loved her answer but wondered whether she was being ironic. "Are you serious?" I asked. I mean, how often have you encountered someone who said they were divinely wonderful.... and pronounced it in the most delicious way possible?
She was in fact absolutely serious, she said. She told me that she believes we create our own destiny.
"You are a goddess," she told me as I went in for my drink. "Walk in your goddess glory."
I walked in about two feet taller. Smiling insanely. I told her husband what she said and he offered this: "She hasn't even had her coffee yet."
When I came back out, she was still fired up. She shimmied her shoulders and told me to throw mine back, walk proud.
"Walk in your goddess," she told me. "Get your goddess on."
And for three blocks, I did.
I felt great. And damn if I didn't look good too.
Then I walked in the house as Esme was being scolded for misbehaving. The others were shouting. Josephine might have been crying about not being able to get her dress on. Or that may have been some other morning.
You get the picture though. It was back to life as normal.
With a fetid, broken dishwasher to boot.
And just like that, I lost the goddess.