It was raining, but I ate my lunch outside anyway. Taking advantage of having the grounds of the Rehabilitation building to myself, I found a short tree with branches that reached low under which I sat cross-legged. My noon hour respite isn’t long. It isn’t even an hour. I horde every second of personal time I can. The public demands enough of my attention. It is allowed, I am being paid for my efforts and focus. I refuse to work for free. These thirty minutes every day belong to me.
The mosquitoes tickled my arms and teased my fingers as I turned the pages of my book. A flick of a thumb or a jut of an elbow is enough to frighten them off. I don’t mind their presence. Insects mean summer. Summer means outdoors and soft grass brushing my ankles.
A break feels so much more like a break when it is enjoyed in daylight. Winter would be so much more bearable if there was a way I could be warm enough in the elements. If I have to hunch over my paperback in a crowded cafe or on a seat in the lobby next to a stranger on a cell phone, I may as well stay at my desk. There is no escape in winter. And in the middle of a week day, escape is all that satisfies my appetite.