This One Time, 2

This one time I was sitting in a little cafe/restaurant thing that was about as wide and long as the main hallway in the house where I grew up — and it really wasn’t a big house. The tables alternated which of the two long walls they were up against, making the waiter sashay in a zig-zag to get through them when he was in a hurry. I remember wondering if they had a clause in their zoning or whatever that allowed them to specify femmes (male or female) that had the right sashay-rhythm and were stick-thin enough to fit between the tables.

I remember I had a cup of cream of cucumber soup and a toasted bacon and avocado sandwich, but I don’t remember a thing about why. Not a damned thing.

I don’t remember why I was there at all, but I remember rushing to keep from being late. I don’t remember who I was supposed to be meeting, and once I was sitting down, I never gave it a second thought. I don’t remember why I ate anything, because I had just finished off some Thai leftovers before cleaning up and putting on my makeup. I don’t remember why I brought the largest purse I own that barely matches my overcoat. And I don’t remember at all why I thought it would be a good idea to bring that huge pig-sticker my uncle gave me before I took off for the big city.

Though now that I think about it, the big bag is the only one that the knife fits into with any amount of subtlety.

I do remember not giving a second thought about which dry white wine would go best with the soup and sandwich. And I remember thinking it all tasted lovely, and that I would miss the place when it dried up and blew away, like all the good restaurants did that had the poor foresight to rent that little coin-slot between the storefront evangelical church and the stairway up to the mysterious windowless nightclub that had never been open during the times I had been in this area of town.

I do remember lingering over a plate with a small pyramid of thumbnail-sized chocolate-covered raspberry tortes, wondering if I had been there long enough yet.

It occurs to me now — just now — that whole point of the exercise might have been to be away from someplace rather than to be specifically there, but I don’t remember who or what I would have been avoiding either.

But I do know that this is the thing I think about whenever I want to yell at people for not thinking about why they do the things they do. I mean, seriously. I’m bright. Whipsmart. And if I can have an Alzheimeresque episode like this and not find it at all strange until more than two weeks after it happens, then who the hell knows why any of us do the things we do?

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January 2, 2011 · by Laszlo Xalieri · Posted in This One Time  
    

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