Short Stories

The Waiting Room

Life is a waiting room. We wait. We wait in line. We wait in cars and on buses and planes. We wait for phone calls and mail deliveries. We wait for appointments, promotions, birthdays and anniversaries. We wait for holidays and the passing from one year to the next. We wait for life. We wait for love. We wait for death.

An endless expanse of chairs draped in matching blue fabric that doesn’t quite distract you from the dated magazines meant to hold your attention until your name is called. Such is life, with our minds holding hands with smartphones and TV screens to avoid real human touch, or a connection made through more than a WiFi signal.

We breathe in the tombs we create for ourselves because we’re afraid of life. We construct walls made out of the past so that we can keep the future out. We wait for meaning in the meaningless worlds we’ve programmed to spoon feed us exactly what we want, and then we wonder why nothing surprises us anymore.

So here we wait for life to start happening to us when we should be out there happening to life. We’re stuck in a social Limbo of sterilized status updates and instant message dates. Love has become a formula you follow while sedated with compatibility tests and prescribed profile questions. Whatever happened to baring your soul; to being vulnerable with another human being without fear so that you can feel something real? It’s all too clean. Too safe. Too guarded.

It’s a lonely place coated in plastic with hand sanitizing stations; where starting a conversation is considered an annoyance and eye contact is avoided. We keep to ourselves with faces lit blue by our wireless phones. We say we’re connected, but we’ve never been more alone.

Featured photo by Andreea Popah on Unsplash


  • David

    Very well written essay. Bleak, yes, but very authentic as well. As a reader, I can feel the type of person you are or, at least, think you are. I can wrap my head around the world you see. A reader can’t ask for much more than that from a writer, I don’t think. Well done.

  • Erin

    I literally just read this while listening to an artist you shared oh fb night at lake unknown – Conor oberst ❤️❤️❤️ I kinda felt like crying…. so good Wendy

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