Until tonight I'd never seen McDonald's as a refuge. But now I look from one tired-faced woman to another and something dawns. The kids, some still in Easter dress, zip down the massive play area slide on their food trays. I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to be doing that. The clatter is nearly deafening but garners no reaction on the women's faces. Possibly they know something I don't.
Maybe they're wearing earplugs. Possibly there is a bin of earplugs at the playroom entrance and I missed it.
But there should be.
I get this feeling occasionally that I'm operating outside some general rubric I failed to assimilate during childhood because of some minor misstep.
Maybe they're letting their kids jump and climb and scream out their jelly beans. Refugees from Easter.
Or maybe, like me, they're seeking someplace bright and normal to try to make sense of things that are not.
I wonder if my face looks as strained and pinched and disappointed as theirs do. I'd like to think not. But then, it's been a long Easter day.
I wonder if some of them are just avoiding going home.