Updated: Feb 12
It was a chilly Tuesday evening and I was craving Ramen, or maybe, a change of pace. Derek stood outside leading Christmas lights through the iron gate outside our home and I bashfully suggested going out for dinner before the kids' drum lessons. A request he quickly obliged. So we piled in the car on a weekday, (very off-brand for our routine, hermit crab family), and walked into our favorite local sushi spot to eat.
Almost immediately, I noticed a beautiful woman with bright orange hair sitting alone at the table next to us. She had a three-card tarot spread in front of her and a tattered copy of a Steinbeck book, though I never quite made out which one. Mostly, I couldn't get over how content she looked sitting their in her glorious solitude, and it reminded me of the woman I was pre-pandemic who loved to be in her own head in populated places rather than cooped up at home.
I haven't sat alone at a restaurant or coffee shop in almost two years. Maybe that realization paired with some borrowed bravery from the fiery haired woman is the reason I find myself typing in a Panera right now, on this blog that I left for dead, of all places. I may very well be sharing this into an empty abyss. Or perhaps, from the abyss. I have no expectations. But it feels like home to create out loud again, both on this page and in the world.
I can't promise I'll feel the same way tomorrow, but for now, I'm leaning into this feeling of normalcy. It's like the melting butter on the baguette roll I'm about to enjoy. Warm, familiar, and complimentary to its companion.