We eat so much raw fish at the local sushi place that they give us a Valuable Customer gift each Christmas, a bottle of sake in a festive box always presented with great fanfare and a specialty roll on the house. It’s a family-run restaurant and they have seen us together as a family more than most of our family has and it is them we will have to thank when our bodies lie fluorescent with mercury poisoning way before our time which you may think will not be worth it but you haven’t tasted their tuna tataki.
I lost a crown this week and my dentist is on vacation and it hurts so I’m way into the sake right now. It’s also kind of a trailer trash sensation (no offense if you’re reading this from your trailer) to be able to stick my tongue through a hole in my gum that leads right up to my brain and even though it can’t be detected by the public at large it still makes me feel like I should be standing on line at some Appalachian food bank holding a dirty, screaming toddler. Wow, this sake is harsh.
I also went back to school this week to get a degree in a field I have already worked in successfully but was never properly trained for which is a huge pattern for me that I’m pushing now to break. Do my sentences seem like they run on more than usual or is it just me? I was thrilled to see that I’m not the oldest student in my program although I’m very certain I was never as young as the youngest. They are exuberantly goofy and no matter where I sit I smell fruity shampoo which instantly makes me smile thereby making me the goofy one to them. In this way we serve each other nicely and it bodes well for a harmonious year.
When I was the same age as my fellow students with the fruity hair I was obsessed with trying to cram as many experiences into one lifetime as I possibly could which is the excuse I like to give for never finishing the degree I’m going for now. At 21 I did a solo cross-country drive to visit former classmates who were living in Boulder, Colorado. I arrived at my friends’ house to find a note on their front door saying they’d be home later in the day so I bought a daily paper and sat in the park.
One employment ad caught my eye. It said, “HIRING TODAY!” It was for banquet wait staff at The Boulder Inn which was facing the park and staring right at me. I walked over and got hired. They gave me a uniform in a stay-fresh plastic bag and let me use their phone so I could answer a “Roommate Wanted” ad placed by a graduate student named Annie Redfeather who I assumed to be Native American but who turned out to be a blonde white girl from northern California. By the time I met up with my friends at their house that evening I had a job and a place to live. It was, you know, the seventies.
At the end of my first week at work I was checking the schedule posted outside the manager’s office when I was almost knocked over by the assistant manager who was bolting out after telling management about the snuggly warm place they could put her job and she hoped it would fit. A guy in a suit opened the door she had just slammed and looked at me standing alone in the hallway. “Do you work here? Do you want to be the assistant manager?” I packed the uniform back into the stay-fresh bag and traded it in for a desk and a salary. Like I said, it was the seventies.
One night there was a wild storm in Boulder and the front desk clerk couldn’t make it in so I offered to stay and work the late night shift. The hotel was understaffed due to the weather and there was an emergency booking for a group that was passing through to Denver but couldn’t make it there until the storm passed. I was walking from my office to the front desk when I heard a noise at the side door so I went to open it and let the guest in. The wind was fierce and as hard as I was pushing the door he was pulling it and finally it burst open and literally blew the guest in, a bushy-faced guy hidden beneath layers of fleece with a hood over his head. He was clutching what looked like a guitar case covered with snow and he was concerned that I was getting wet. He said he had other stuff to bring in so I took the guitar from him and told him to go and I’d hold the door.
He came back inside all soaked and thanking me for going out of my way and could I show him where the elevator was. I walked him down the hall and when the elevator came I handed him the guitar and he was still thanking me as he pulled off his hood and I could see he was Jerry Garcia and the guys who had come in already were The Grateful Dead and they had a concert in Denver but they were stuck here for the night. The next day they were gone and the regular staff made it in and hardly anyone had seen them but me and definitely no one held that guitar.
Now I have to go do my homework. I probably won’t get many more chances to finish what I have once again begun so I know you’ll understand if I just keep on truckin’.