Friday, October 9, 2009


My alarm wakes me, but my lethargy set in. I lay there for a half hour after pushing snooze for at least an hour. Its one day post fast. I'm starving. One minute until I need to send my final copy to the editor. The article looks good, but I'm nervous. I'm always nervous for edits. I push send with reluctance. Then I realize, the story was a gem. I rarely write stories that matter to me. But after completing the write up, all I can think is, "Don't forget to pick that up next Wednesday."
I know today will be exactly what a day should be: smooth and full.
That's why I decide to make my way over to Butter, a restaurant on Grand and 36th in South Minneapolis. Though I've never been there, some of my friends have decided it can't be good. Butter indicates polysaturated fats. To me it expresses purity and overall breakfasty goodness. I have always been a sucker for the wholeness of natural farm fresh products.
The morning is crisp and I know that the chilly air will soon torture my skin. I park up front. The perks of a scooter are endless, blushed cheeks and all. And as I walk in I realize, this is the neighborhood dive. It's not part of a chain or a strip of stores. It's one coffee shop on the corner of a residential street. This I love. These people frequent this place; they support its location and locality--all the food is made from local organics.
I was focusing on what I would eat this morning since last night it wasn't a possibility. I scanned the menu so when I approached the counter, I'd be ready. The cashier asks, "What can I get for you?" I respond effortlessly, "Biscuits and gravy with one poached egg, please. Oh, and a cup of your French roast." Clear, straightforward, easy. There were no substitutions like, "egg beaters," or subtractions like, "no sausage." And the clarity makes me feel like I'm a regular, even though this is a foreign place to me.
I choose a corner seat behind a man who has obviously camped out there for the day. "Free wi-fi," it says in the window, which makes me realize my disgust for the idea of working during breakfast. For me, the time I take to eat alone while reading City Pages is priceless. I sip at my bitter coffee. The cinnamon-y flavors come out boldly, and I know I have to tame it down. Cream, sugar. Nothing generic like skim or Splenda. I watch the people in the shop sitting, conversing, munching. Over the speakers I can hear The Yellow Submarine album playing. It brings me back to this summer when I nannied. The boys loved this album. And they always sang all the words, sometimes not knowing them. For example, "Hey Bulldog" turned into "Hey Blue Dog." And The yellow submarine sometimes lost its verses. "We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine," could be repeated innumerable times before they'd call it a wrap.
But back to this chilly October day, one person is of particular interest. He's a grown up frat bro. His shirt says, "Balls and Dolls," on the front and the back dons the name, "Dude Bro" with the number 69 just below. Just by wearing this intramural jersey, he is certifiably a douche bag. More evidence concludes it: his bro haircut, '90s torn up jeans, clearly modified body (from protein shakes), and the gym bag. If that isn't enough, he calls up a friend on the phone. "Hey bro, what up?" The conversation drags on, loudly for many minutes. Though he seems to be an annoyance, I like this. I like watching this juxtaposition. A materialized male, with little originality in a place that is clearly not a Starbucks, or Bux as I like to refer to it. It's Minneapolis.
As I page through the City Pages, I land on an article I'd never seen before, "Savage Love." The column is placed next to the strip club ads. "Now there's a way to get an esteedizzle," I think. I figure its a column on relationships, messed up ones with serious problems, so I begin to read. They seem to entertain me. However, all the relationship questions are about homosexual relationships. I find this disappointing. Not that the content is gay, but that this doesn't relate to me. Topics include gay marriage, coming out and transexual dating. Since I'm a virgin (by choice), heterosexual female, I'm disheartened. Relationships columns for me are hard to come by. I close the paper just in time to move it away for my breakfast.
Ah. The gravy goodness. I'm impressed, but I think this takes second place to Sunny Side Up. I shovel it in, taking the time to love this moment. I was rushed before I realized I had plenty of time. There are only things I want to do today. Pack for camping in the northern tundra. Organize my room. Write a blog. Take some time for me and a little more for the big guy.
I leave the restaurant feeling satisfied. The whole experience is enthralling. Now, I have to save up to go someplace new again, alone with bright eyes and an open mind. Nickels and dimes, kids. Nickels and dimes. Unemployment has its perks.

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