Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Share #19: French fries

Today was a wash. I waited all day to eat. By 5pm, I had expectations. It doesn't help that I had only a bit of bread yesterday.

I walked to the bakery again today, in the rain, preparing for some future meal, then I cleaned a house and moved my things. These days, I move every few weeks or every few days. I've been house-sitting since February, in different houses, for friends with dogs and cats. This November, I will live in eight houses. How odd. It doesn't feel like a choice I made, but my yeses keep equaling up to this.

My name has been passed around and people have been contacting me and I have been saying yes. Now I'm booked through January and sometimes I'm double booked. These are friends and friends of friends and it's hard to say no and, well, I was meant to have been gone by now anyway--to Mongolia, to Northern Italy, to Paris--but I'm still here, and I don't know if I'm coming or going. Should I set myself up or divest myself entirely? I seem to be divesting myself. But what for? I don't know. I'm torn or I'm waiting to discover or I am trying to understand myself. In the meantime, I'm saying yes to everything and everyone and every house and every animal and every time and every day. I don't know if this is hindering me or helping me--abide.

I told Scott I'd be available to share a meal after 5 today. I thought that meant he'd arrive in Seattle at 5 and we'd eat soon after. Hunger thought that. He thought it meant we'd meet somehow, sometime, after 5, but not necessarily at 5 or close to 5. It was raining hard. I was cold and discontent and hungry.

I called Scott when the homeowners returned, at 5. Where was he? Was he on his way? No. He was at home. Abiding. He asked if it wouldn't be better for me to come to him. Arrg. My hunger expressed its expectations to him. He said, "Don't be mad at me." How could I be mad? It's true, we didn't have a definite plan. I said I'd drive to him.

Scott lives in Renton, 25 miles east of Seattle. I headed south from Ballard on I-5, slowly, past a stalled car. Traffic was backed up. There was construction on I-90 then and traffic was down to one lane from I-5 to the floating bridge. All in all, it took 3 hours to make the return trip. Under normal, non-rush hour conditions, it takes an hour to drive from Seattle to Renton and to Seattle again. By time I got to Scott's house and we drove to a gas station, I was in an unsettled state. I went in to pay for the gas and stood in the wrong line. Three other people got into the right line in front of me. The man in my line was checking a lottery ticket. I turned around and saw and smelled a fast food window. Ahh. French fries. There is an adjoining McDonalds. I turned towards this smell and ordered some fries.

Over the past 20 years, I have eaten at McDonalds three times. On each occasion, my usual decision making process was undermined. Once I'd bicycled 15 miles in the snow and was early for a job and needed a place to stay warm. Once I was in a foreign town, headed north a 3-hour bus ride and had no food with me. The bus stop was in front of a McDonalds. This occasion was no different. I hadn't eaten in 12 hours. I knew I wouldn't eat anything substantial in the next hour. I needed something to tie me over and here was a wall of fat frying and I caved in. Scottie had no trouble sharing these fries with me. We stuffed them in our mouths in large handfuls. They were nothing special and I won't remember them later. That evening, we made a real meal with a salad and vegetables and sat down to a table and shared a share.

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