Sunday, April 7, 2024

Still Life

I think the CIA should hire bartenders and waitresses to train their troops in memory and retention.  I am constantly amazed when one of them remembers me and what I eat and drink.  How do they do that?  I can't even remember people's names.  

I went to a Thai restaurant last night for takeout.  I used to go with my gal, but I have only gone a couple times since the whole Covid thing.  It has been a VERY long time since I had even thought about the place.  There is a cute little Thai restaurant on the Boulevard that we started going to that had good food as well, and I've been there a few times off and on.  But for some crazy reason, last night I had a memory of the coconut chicken soup I used get to go from the old place quite often.  Nothing else would do.  

When I walked in, the woman at the hostess stand remembered me.  

"Why you haven't come so long?"

The restaurant had been completely renovated and enlarged since my last visit.  The small bar where Ili loved to sit and drink while we waited on a go order was gone.  A better bar was built in the extended part of the restaurant.  The place was packed.  I got nostalgic.  I wanted to bring a girl here to dine, to sit and eat and drink and laugh.  But it was O.K.  I felt good, even better than that, perhaps, just being here again.  I don't know. . . it felt like I was "getting out."  Weird, I thought.  I go out to eat often enough.  What was up with this?  

As I sat waiting on my order, a dozen different delivery drivers came in to pick up orders.  This must be a favorite of Uber Eats, Grub Hub, etc.  The restaurant was ten times busier than I had ever seen it before. 

Coconut chicken soup and spring rolls.  That was the last thing I had ordered here.  That is what I got again.  And mango with sticky rice?  It is seasonal.  They don't have that yet.  

Back home, I turned on the second half of a March Madness game and set out my dinner.  It smelled and tasted as it always had.  Memories.  You know what they say about that.  The experts.  Olfactory triggers and all.  

I was getting texts.  Something was happening on the Boulevard that I was missing.  I couldn't figure out what it was from the photos, but the Boulevard had been shut down.  The streets were packed.  

People dining, drinking, and wearing costumes?  What was that?  In my own hometown, and I hadn't a clue.  Sitting with my takeout dinner in front of a television basketball game, I felt every inch of what I was.  

I got a video from a Madonna concert in a city on the coast.  My friend had paid $300 for her ticket.  Now I would not care to go to a Madonna concert, even for a buck, and I would not have dressed up to go to the Boulevard for whatever in the world this thing was, but. . . I should get out more.  People are.  People do.  

I have to say, phone cameras have changed the game.  They are not just "good enough," they are good.  When I try to improve on them with an editing tool, though, they mostly fall apart.  You pretty much just have to take them as they come.  A.I.  That's what is making them so good.  They have already been "cooked" in the camera.  

Tennessee sent me a picture of one of the cabins he has just finished on his 100 acres in the mountains.  

Straight out of the phone camera.  Crazy.  

My cousin leaves my mother's house this morning to stay with another relative on the coast for a few days before heading back north.  I think my mother has enjoyed the company--24/7.  My cousin has taken her places every day.  They've gone to lunches, functions, parties.  I fear the letdown my mother is likely to have.  I will need to take her out more now to keep her spirits up, I think.  I will cook dinner for her tonight.  Back to the old routine. . . and then some.

My life.  Whatever.


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