I am sitting at home for the first time in almost two months. Its good to be back. I think there must be some sort of odd phenomenon in which people canonize their respective hometowns. The act where you visualize your home as the best place on the planet. The grass is greener, the weather is better, people are nicer and things are a brighter shade of grey here. I am especially guilty of this after I have been traveling for long periods of time or if I have moved to a new city.
Of course, none of the for-mentioned things are actually true. The grass is green wherever you are, when I awoke I could see snowflakes out my window and the waitress gave me cold coffee and stale toast this morning for breakfast. It still tasted like the it was the only proper meal I've had in months.
I met my friend Matt for our ritual "Pickle Slam" this morning. The local greasy spoon has taken on many different names in the past, but the last one, the "Fickle Pickle", seems to have stuck. We discussed the general happenings of Stouffville and what he was up to with school. Never have you met a better friend than Matt. He's most likely the nicest person I have come to know.
Later on I was fooling around and I stumbled onto pictures that my brother took of us when we took a trip around Eastern Europe in 2006. It really made me miss him. He's been living in Norway working on film sets for sometime now and I haven't spoken with him in months. I used to just write that off due to the fact that we are both bad with keeping in contact, but I'm starting to wonder if its not something more.
After my last post I was having some serious thinking sessions about my future. I was feeling really down as I was reading some pretty depressing books. I asked the guy at the bookstore to pick me out some books that would be funny and lift my spirits. I assume he gets his kicks by reading books about people that have some sort of self-destructive quality that randomly triggers and then they go on some over-the-edge life changing spree. What I've learned is that those kinds of books are not really all that funny; especially when you can relate to the comically doomed character.
As I went to work that night I found myself having almost a panic attack. I was feeling in a bad mood, so I did what I usually do in that mood and I lied about something horrible that happened to me. I am a sucker for people's sympathy. I crave it like crack. The only problem being my fellow coworkers, as they came in that night with some heavy duty problems of their own.
I told people that my grandfather died of cancer. I was immediately hugged by a waitress who found out that day that her mother had life threatening cancer. This is after her favourite cousin was either stabbed or shot a few days before. And the worst part? My grandfather is actually dying of stomach cancer and won't last for longer than a few weeks.
This was a particular killjoy and I was angry at this girl for stealing what should have been my sweet, boundless sympathy. I tried to up the anti by saying that I had also met my father, who I hadn't seen since I was just a wee child, that particular day and his new evil wife and children were in tow. A different waitress followed by saying she knew how I felt because she recently found out that her long lost father did a similar trick. This, of course, made me feel even worse. So I went out and bought brownies for the three of us and we sat in the corner and ate silently, reveling in our self pity.
As I was outside that same night getting some air, a drunk patron came and stood beside me and lit of a cigarette. This older, large woman looked at me as she took a drag and asked me if I worked in the kitchen. I was wearing a white chef jacket, an apron and black pants and shoes. I nodded. This is the same conversation I have with all customers. Next she would ask me if I was in school, and after that, why I wasn't working to complete my degree.
She, true to the rule of law, asked those very same questions. However, after I responded she looked at me and said, "Good". I was a little shocked.
"I have a son who is 23 years old. He went to school when he was 17 and partied his first two years away. I tried to tell him otherwise, but what could I do? Looking back now, it was obviously a mistake for him to go to school so young. Who the fuck knows what they want when they are 17? Nobody, thats who.They say some people wake up in the morning and know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I've never met a person like that. And you never will because they don't exist.He went back though and I don't view him as a late bloomer, just as someone who is starting to live their life when they should. So don't worry, you'll get there one day when you are ready."
She grabbed me and gave me a big, drunken hug. And I really hugged her back.