Bright orange sneakers.

It wasn’t actually a lunge. Lunging connotes quick, sudden and direct. Hers was more like a floating surprise into someone else’s space. It was an interruption, but certainly without direction.

The woman who was interrupted expected that she would be asked for money. But she wasn’t. There was no ask. There was no recognition from the glassy eyes bobbing in front of her.

The other woman, the one who floated in a surprising way, was dressed in a bright orange track suit. It may have been velour. It had a fuzzy look to it. It may have been terry cloth. The jacket was zipped up high, up to her neck. The fit of the pant and the jacket made sense on her long body.

She had one of those jumbo wheeled folding shopping carts next to her. It was filled with bags and maybe a blanket. There was a cigarette lighter and a half pack of Newports in the drugstore bag on the top. There was also two orange bottles without the child proof tops. It was her prescription medicine. But it wasn’t the scripts that glazed over her face.

Her eyes were almost hazel. So they were hazel since they had a bit more color than brown. They bulged out a little bit and the whites had thin variegations of red.

The orange sleeves of her jacket, while filled with her arms, seemed to not belong to her torso. They moved independently of her body. Not in a convulsive way, but fitfully aggressing through the nearby air. She levitated back and forth from the curb to the middle of the sidewalk, like a tethered helium balloon that was starting to loose it’s bounce. Her movements were without rhythm, without rhyme, yet fluid.

Gliding in and out of the lunchtime foot traffic, she silently forced the people seeking sandwiches and grain bowls to move out of the way. Most were glad to avoid her, but a few looked for the cup to toss in some coins. When they searched to end of her orange cuff they only saw a burning  menthol that she never drew to her mouth. And then she receded back until her next teeter into the next wave of pedestrians.

Coconut Sorbet

A split coconut. That is all.

It was the last, albeit inadvertent, straw. I was walking down the hall—the one with the wood-lite, parquet floor versus the carpeted hall—to get a morning coffee. I think that my short, squat spiral notebook was in my hand. My phone was on top, but surely grasped by at least one finger. Until it jumped.

Like a squirrely, inelegant fish, it leapt from my pond. It somehow gained acceleration as it left my control. Maybe the wind from my gait? Regardless, it breached my hand and clattered to the floor and awkwardly slid, like that odd fish, along the floor. Poor fish. Poor phone.

It had been kinda cracked in a few places before, based on other unwitting tosses. Fissures on the edges, and just along those edges. Not a rupture in the main, and certainly nothing that interrupted function.

This time, it was different.

I picked it up. It had been on the ground many times. At least eighty. Perhaps as many as six-thousand, three-hundred and sixty-two. Somewhere in that range. So imagine my surprise, nay, my shock!, at seeing the sets of intermittent stripes and the faded Kodachrome reflection of what had been my wallpaper of my family affectionally giving me the finger. I swiped, and it seemed to work. I put my notebook and phone on the counter. I got my coffee.

After my minutes with the Keurig and the addition of milk, I retrieved my goods and saw that the phone was worse. Finger swiping had no effect. Pushing down on the screen made it a little brighter, but just a little, and it did not improve the capacitive response. When is the next iPhone release?

I was hoping to get another year from this device and the new ones aren’t due until late September. I need a working phone now. Like literally now. Screen replacement time.

Working downtown in a decently-sized, walking city means you are just scant blocks from a solution. I looked at the clock (not on the phone since that was a disaster) and the google and saw a solution within blocks and within the hour.

I dropped very carefully deposited my phone at the screen repair joint and was promised a fix in forty minutes. Great! I told the nice man, Jeff, who was jonesing for a transfer to this new store, I’d be back after lunch.

I very uncomfortably walked down the street. I would normally open an app on my phone to nudge my brain for food options. Instead I had to go naked. I headed south a block then east. The food trucks had good smelling fried chicken, but you know how I feel about them.

Lightbulb! It’s restaurant week and there is a famous chef restaurant that has a great riff on fried chicken and this was was the summer doldrums that spawned “restaurant week.” Three courses for a sweet prix fixe. I had the time and the price would be right. I was stuck using the DocThink GPS in my head, but fortunately it still worked. The dining room didn’t have a table for me, but there was a spot at the bar.

Somehow, sitting at the blonde wood bar and looking at the special menu, the idea of fried chicken seemed better as an idea. The yellow gazpacho first course seemed to be begging me to have the rare and peppered tuna on some “pepedille.” I know that’s not a word or a food, but the word on the menu was unknown to me. It tasted good, though.

I didn’t chose dessert until after my entree. If there was key lime pie or lemon icebox pie, it would have so been that. Hot lava chocolate goop sounded gross. Something with grapefruit and basil sounded too adventurous. The shortbread cookie thing a bit too pedestrian. So I zeroed in on the coconut sorbet with chocolate and almonds and something I can’t remember.

I’m not generally a coconut fan. Baby Bear, on the other hand, hashtag loves coconut [#lovescoconut]. Maybe I was missing him when I ordered that and a coffee. And I thank you, Baby Bear, because it was good.

As the bartender took away my dessert plate, we both opined on the terrificness, or is that deliciousness?, of the coconut sorbet. He told me that the Boss-Chef ate lunch at the restaurant three or four times each week and always, always, always ordered the coconut sorbet.

He would order one scoop and finish it and always, always, always order a second, which he would also dispatch in it’s entirety. One time, the bartender ordered him a second scoop in anticipation. He was upbraided. The Boss-Chef wanted to order it himself.

We wondered, together, why he ordered first one scoop and then the second. I wondered if it was because he didn’t want to eat melted coconut sorbet? But the bartender didn’t think that was it. It was a pattern, and it was his control over that pattern. Maybe he teased himself to see if he could resist the second scoop? Maybe he wanted to make sure he had the time to finish what was in front of him? Maybe he made up a game that nobody else could play?

I wondered why I would order one, and then the other. I wouldn’t, but it was a decent mental explore. Because the only way I could understand the Boss-Chef was to try and think about what it would mean to me. What are my tics? My sport that only I play for only my known reasons?

He was always challenging his patrons and himself. He said “In cooking, as in love, you always have to try new things to keep it interesting.” I like it when things are interesting. In the kitchen, and in other rooms, too.

He will be missed. Maybe I will go back and order a scoop of coconut sorbet. And then another. For fun.

Peace to you, Michel Richard.  I hope that your gifts are appreciated in this next life as I appreciated them today.

At My Fingertips 

There just may be something seriously wrong with me. It’s like I don’t need to wait for a physical internet implant. I think that maybe I’m becoming The Internet of Things. I’m reduced to an acronym: IoT.

How did this get to be?

So today I was hungry and thinking about lunch. That’s what you do when it’s 12:08 p.m., and you’re working on an epic procrastination. You exit your 11:30 a.m. meeting that was blissfully over by 11:48 a.m., even though you were seven minutes late. On that happy note, let’s think about lunch.

There’s tons of choices within a few blocks. I have the curse of choice. (Don’t hate. I used to work at a secure location with the only choices being the type of bread for your Subway sandwich. After 2 weeks, I recognized that all the meat choices tasted exactly the same, so I’d get the veggie and save a buck. Sometimes I’d order the the wheat bread and sometimes the salty spicy bread that I don’t remember what it was called. I’m trying to forget. I can’t even walk by a Subway today without gagging.)

Back to my surfeit of choice.

I didn’t know what I wanted. There was nobody to ask. I looked around, and they were all gone. Siri is more than (or is that less than?) useless. I looked at my screen and asked,

“What do I want to eat?”

Nothing. Fingers to keyboard,  I googled,

“What do I want to eat?”

I half-imagined, with great hope, that the results would be topped by one of those Google cards that you gives you the answer when you type, “How far to Dublin?”

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or what is the “French word for bread?”

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 8.09.40 PM

“What do I want to eat?”






Nope. Nothing. Nada.

Always hopeful, I looked down a bit. Sometimes there isn’t a card. Like when you say, who won The Bachelor last night? (Really, is winning what they do? Another post, another time.)

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The all knowing Google has a variety of ways to answer.

I looked down the search results. There was no answer. There was, however, a Buzzfeed Quiz.  A few clicks later (Do you eat meat? Are you hungry or hangry? Which image of the sky do you prefer? Unicorn or Winged Horse?), I had an answer.

A sandwich.

Fine. A sandwich it would be. At least I had an answer.

I pulled on my long black trench and made like Snape and his billowing robes around the corner and down the fire escape to the street. Before I reached ground, I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and powered up Yelp–location on–to find sandwiches, current location.

Standing outside on the sidewalk, I started poking the little pins on the screen. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Wait. Is that the one I was thinking of?

I click through to the restaurant deets. I don’t think it was the one, but maybe this is that other one I walked by before? I can’t tell for sure from the address. I pinch my fingers out on the map. Not the one I was thinking of but the one I walked by. Might as well try it. I’m now headed east at a clip.

It was a great sandwich. Bigger than The Dog’s big head. I sat there and looked out the window at the scurrying lunch goers as I munched away. Good choice, Yelp!

I pretty much finished my sandwich, tossed the paper remains in the trash, used the hand sanitizer to clean away the mayo that had leaked, ambled up the stairs back to the lunch-bustle and took the sidewalk headed back West.

My hand rested on the phone in my pocket and my mind went to another app. What am I going to enter for this calorie buster into my Fitness Program?

I decided to make a new entry. Big ass sandwich, 750 calories. But wait, nobody knows what I ate. I paid in cash. It’s a secret from my Internet life. Not even The Google knows, and I don’t have to ask. I can do whatever I want.

Ha! I got back my humanity.