Sunday, 12 October
Good Morning Jacob…
The moments in memory I have of you continually glow, embers from a bonfire ever rising, like Jacob’s ladder, forever in view. Where are you now? What is it you do? The stars have caught a chill. Spent leaves roll with the wind. We circle round the year, taking note of all the now familiar milestones; next stop – Halloween. You were Spongebob when others chose Batman. You’ve guaranteed us a different take, an unexpected look. I’ve always counted myself better off once I knew the page you were on.
My favorite time of year is nearly here. My ideal kind of day is one with clear skies and a cold bite to the air. It’s comforting bundling in layers, fighting off the chill. On a freezing night I for three blankets piled over me rather than slipping under the blanket you plug into the wall. The downside, of course, is you don’t find yourself greeted with a preheated bed. It’s always wool socks to bed and a spell of shivering before you begin feeling cozy. The initial balling up to winter makes the coming warmth feel all the more generous.
I like the experience of getting out from the cold. The pleasure is more intense if every day isn’t always a pleasant 72 and sunny. Good times should never get too familiar. How do we awaken to vacation when every day is already vacation? Am I making sense? OK, let’s say I love driving everywhere with the top down. On any given day I might pull up in front of Denny’s, wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a tropical Bird-of-Paradise print. I step inside; find my booth near the window and order a Coke, patty melt and fries. Something sounding like Beach Boys is playing from the speaker overhead. Life is good.
Suddenly I get transferred to a job in the small, seaside town of Yreka, up the coast near the Oregon border. Today begins brutal. A gale blows in off the ocean. I park near the entrance of the Chuck Wagon Café. It should be daylight but storm clouds have extended the night. Lights reflect off the puddled street. I rush from the car, hunched over, fighting wind and rain, pull open the buffeting door, and step into the warmth inside. There’s the aroma of coffee brewing, sausage sizzling and a hint of damp clothes. Folks are alive with talk about all this nasty weather we’re having, the problems its wrought, and related such things.
Ain’t felt this cold since last February. Makes a sane body wants to fly south. Too bad I never felt all that sane. Besides the waitress here has a crush on me and I’d just as soon not live without her. Don’t flatter yourself none. Only thing she sees in you is that healthy tip. Says you, you say. Anything tops the two quarters you been putting down all these years. Maybe, but I still gets her big smile, all the same. Ain’t that right, Ida? You getting no smile from me, Bob. That’s me wincing cause you still never learned about showers. He gots no indoor plumbing. The hell, you say. I’d just like Ida sharing my suds one of these mornings. There’s your invite, Ida. We both be coming in smelling clean an sweet. Thanks. But Bob you just go on stinking up the place. I prefer sudsing with my own soap.
Ida brings me coffee. No need to ask. It’s comfortable being here, all things considered.