Monday, October 22, 2018

So, what?


"When writing the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen" 
Warren Zevon

Breakfast was a weekend thing for Mary and me, at least until the whole era of weight loss began. Though we still get up early on occasion, and still eat too much for fun, it’s now more disciplined – we’ve become warriors of the chronically hungry, we are fighting for our fitness. It’s like being in a church built for a cold and withholding god, or just a regular church with bad wafers and cloistered people telling you how to live.

With the season changing to sweater weather and an easier way to hide the fat, it is even more of a treat to eat breakfast out – and the cold firms you up and reduces the jiggles when you walk back to the car of shame and go home.

Los Gatos Café is a favorite -- the potatoes are to die for, the bacon crisp, and they offer a bakery item with every meal. The seating is tight, lots of people have disposable income, kids, and the wish to be served by others – it’s Los Gatos.

We arrive and are seated next to a standard four-person family. I immediately notice the boy opening a plastic baggie of mushrooms and then dumping them on the table. The boy is young and looks it. The mushrooms are dried and stringy – I know exactly what they are.

The mom and dad are talking to each other and the sister is reading a Harry Potter library book. They arrived before us but have ordered and are awaiting their food. I’m amused, but jaded, and look down to my menu out of habit, I already know what I’m getting – if I was Schrödinger’s cat, I’d be dead, and you’d know it. I’ve become predictable, my growth rings are static.

I order, then look back to the table with the boy – the plastic bag is still there, but now he is playing with miniature star war figures.  There is no sign that the mushrooms were ever there.

As my meal arrives, I glance back at the table several times, but nothing changes. Everyone in the room is acting out their own behaviors as I watch -- the eaters eat, the standers wait, the full of food ask what tip to leave from their spouses. Nothing changes, not the speed of time and not the clarity of the room – It just is as it always is – the only variable is me, and I think – when I’m gone, will anything ever move again?

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