“She Waits” by Pamela Wong


A painting by Brett Amory, from his Waiting 101 series.

It is a Tuesday in the blue winter. As she walks in and sits down, as usual, on this maroon seat in this shadowless corner, the barista, knowing that she stays for a whole afternoon, has served her an espresso, and she knows it’s her last one today. She never gives a careful look at the menu that sits insistently on the table, seeming dustier and duller than usual. Outside, there are barely imperceptible tiny changes and the world spins in a sparkle of light without affection or hostility and brushes away from her: the nimbus clouds that disperse too quickly, the speeding bicycles that suddenly stop, the changing coloured billboards with block letters and the passer-by looking watchfully across the street. She remains thoughtless and still as her braids become loose. She does not know since when each incident, each person in her life has become a fixed number on her numerical axis, leaving out all the transitions. Each begins with a 0 and ends with a 3. Being bad at numbers, she counts clumsily, assembling the hissing sounds of the coffee machine. The coffee is sour as she finally sips it. Though she forgets the familiar face she has been expecting, she smirks and waits in silence forever in the burning sun.

—Inspired by a painting (above) in Brett Amory’s Waiting 101 series (2012).
—Also try this interactive unfolding of the text here.


PamelaPamela Wong is a student studying in the Department of English. She reveals her emotional world through poetry. [Read all entries by Pamela.]

One Comment Add yours

  1. Cristian Mihai says:

    Beautiful writing, Pamela. Also, great choice of artwork. Or maybe the artwork chose you.

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