A whiskey adventure for you and me.
It’s noon already and everyone made vague plans to meet at noon for brunch and they were adamant about it you think and the daylight’s creeping on in and your phone beeps from the catacombs of your blankets somewhere — a simple emoticon of an egg in a frying pan, which you swear at one point was a much quainter egg cracking, though either no one believes or no one cares — and all that emoticon is asking you is to walk down the hill and order up comfort foods already but you know everyone is lost in the same depths of morning time as you are, squinting their eyes and pressing buttons that correspond with little images of eggs.
These are not the mornings for a proper brunch. You will not be meeting with ten of your colleagues at a reserved table that was hashed out over a string of emails. You will not be catching up with elders whom expect you to be appropriately groomed. You will not queue up anywhere on a sidewalk for over three minutes, maximum. No one you meet will have already completed a run this morning. No one will bring a kid. Nothing on the menu shall require some perfunctory google — no tobiko, brandade, basmati, romesco, raclette, treviso, poblano, julienne* bullshit. You will only bring whatever cash you have leftover from last night, crumpled in your pocket, and that will be enough.
You will go to what you know.
You’ll layer up with whatever you find on or near your bed. You’ll waste six extra minutes scouring around for a hat. Then you will place sunglasses over your face, and be marginally surprised when someone recognizes you in them anyway, as though you honestly believed they rendered you indistinguishable. Maybe you’ll bring your dog, to compensate for that sad sleepwalk-stumble you did around the block at 8am. He needs the world now just as much as you do.
It’s Linda’s because it always is. This isn’t the time to be making decisions, taking chances. It’s cheap, it’s central, and it’s some sort of homing beacon for wayward souls. You’ll bypass the dim bar room and head out to the patio, find a picnic table, order a pitcher of beef jerky Bloody Marys, pose the same weary question to your slowly amassing table: “When are they going to start serving pitchers of Gatorade?” Bodies will trickle in. A boy in shorts will say, “I wasn’t ready for whole pants.” At least three people will be greeted with, “Where did you go last night?” At most, this will elicit a slight chuckle as response enough. Someone will display their shattered phone, another their disorienting bruise. You’ll order too much food. Some rando will pick hash browns off of your plate when enough is enough. All movements will be in slow motion for awhile. But you’ll regain.
The coffee and the eggs and the sunshine will work their way into your bloodstream and voices will lift, days will be tentatively be planned. If it’s the summertime, it’s a direct route to the beach. In spring, everyone to the park. In winter, well, you are about to take a nap right now, sorry but it’s going to happen, so grab a few friends, put on some sitcom, fall asleep together and regroup in an hour. In fall, it’s a walk or a bike ride. Take the long route home with your dog, let him traipse through that volcano fountain or lose his damn mind in a dog run. Your day has really only just begun.
You’ll wave goodbye, sort of, and no one will utter any sort of plan to do this again sometime — just wait a month or two, and eventually the same morning will come crashing in on all of you at once again, and there Linda’s will be.
*These were just real items I lifted from the Foreign Cinema menu.