Here I sit at the McD’s on Thornton on July 3d. I woke up early after a bit of time enjoying the comfort of the futon and the morning cool air and my fan rotating its way. I was in a dreamless state from about 1130 to 7am. Nothing nagged or snagged my consciousness during that time. Usually because I’m old, the day after drinking beer to excess I sleep really soundly and wake up feeling ready or almost ready for a Sunday. I still kinda stare around at my little room and seem to remember the fractured house and heading downstairs to put a pot of Joe on, let the dog out after giving her the required two pieces of bread that she stood waiting at the Fridge for. The ex-wife was gone doing whatever ex-wives do with their lovey dovey’s. The kids were not stirring and it was a moment frozen in time.
But now I stir in my own little room. Look around and determine that I made it! Another day in the SF Bay area defines itself. Tomorrow, a holiday. This one signifies something more though. It signals the the shift of the year of 2016 to the final winter of living in the Bay area. Next year by October I will be gone. I’m not sure where but I know how now. Will it be Asia like I dream? Traveling the rails and buses here and there? Cambodia and Malaysia and Thailand for months? I am not sure. I do know this place is not the place for me. Looking around on this Sunday after the hotcakes and now with McD’s free wifi and my chromebook I know it. Nothing locks me in here after December or even locks me in to doing Project Management. I check around and there families. One kid is reading the book Insurgent. Do you wonder? Well wonder no more. Its the fiction of Resurgence and on it goes. Its a youth fiction much like others. I admit to watching the first movie but have not read the book. How many of you actually read books these days? Either physical or ebook? Are you avid readers or do it to waste time while waiting for another time to clear? On airplanes? I remember flying before the Kindle and had my luggage stocked up in 2009 with books. Big assed books to read in a small hotel room in Mylapore while I served my months in India. I remember that the AC leaked in my room and they fixed it over a few days. AC is important in India!
Then I remember boarding the overnight first class train from Chennai station to Mysore. An overnight ride through Bangalore and then a few more hours and I landed. I caught a Auto to the hotel and then rented the guy for a few more days. He required a breakfast which cost me all of $2.00 for both of unlimited Mysore Masala Dosas at this place. Let me just say that Mysore Masala Dosas are different and I had a few of them. Then the bill came and we had eaten, had tea and coffee, and I had unashamedly watched everyone else who discussed news, sports (football), and events in Mysore in a mix of dialects. None really noticed me or pretended not to. The auto driver sat eating. We discussed places to go and he hauled me all around.
Now I’m here at the McD’s in Fremont over on Thornton and its July 3d and its the day before a holiday. A day off from work and today looms with no real tasks. I procrastinated the laundry chore until tomorrow morning. I watch the clock on the chromebook toll its way through seconds, minutes, hours. McD’s quiets down and my coffee sits hot and steaming with a free refill if I want. I see the same people that do weekends here every weekend. Outside the window, it reminds me of lunches at McD’s in Tokyo. I ate at one upstairs once and the the stairs wound up this view down the street. Giggling school girs and day workers. Moments of tension with teenagers and dates. Japanese customs interrogating the burgers. Some ate with little picks and grabs. Others just grabbed the burgers and munched like we do. I remember the McD’s at the food court at the Ascendas IT Park food court in Chennai down the street from STPI. STPI is where Celestix Networks India lived. We would walk there too and eat. The waiter told me he had everything but “cow”. It was all chicken folks! I would sit there too and watch and try the supposedly free wifi which never really worked but pretended it did.
McD’s has transcended the places for me. I may have eaten at one in a few cities for breakfast and cheaper lunches and now I’m here for breakfast on July 3d, 2016. Another launch to a holiday which has less personal meaning across a life which still has profound meaning. At least for me. Wondering at the stops and starts. Remembering people that have left. It dawns on me this will be 10 years since the DaveR checked out. Its a case of still missing him and visiting his cancer blog every so often. There! I linked to it too. The DaveR who tossed stuffed animals over a partition wall at me. The one who rhymed last names in glee. The one that first doubted me and then accepted and offered me that rare gift. Friendship. Others have left too.
Yet here I am at the McD’s in Fremont and life does go on. Friends don’t really call any longer yet I have them in my contact list. That’s okay too. We outlive the conditions of the friendship and we both move on to other places. Yet my friend and mentor and the person who taught me about how life works as an archeologist lives on and the daughter force and I will revisit him later in the summer. His life force is strong and there are so many memories of his gruff style, hearty laugh, the jeep that could rambling over desert ruts.
It all comes back and I write the words in the blog and I remember other things.
I remember years of marriage and years of divorce. Years of cheating and being powerless to change things. There are some things easily forgiven but as I told my daughter last night,
I can forgive a multitude of things and have amnesia when they’re committed except for cheating. Don’t ever cheat on me in any way.
And its true. I cannot abide that one thing. Its a superset of all the things you expect to have issues with. Its the big sign post in the life of Mike. Don’t cheat.
And now I’m back at the present day. Time travel completed. The mind is a whacked and wonderful thing. It lets you taste so many realities and fantasies and then check back in at the McD’s. Yes! Its all good.
Now go forth and make it a miserable day. You deserve it.