"Oh, my God I don't want to go on this plane ride alone." Long pause. "What if I die? Oh my God, what if I die? That would suck for my mom." Long pause. "What if the plane crashes and I'm the only one who dies?" Her friend asked, finally, "but what if you don't?"
I didn't hear anything after that. I walked out of earshot--I thought it was a nice time to move along. It was like a quick transitional scene in a film I'd never seen.
I wonder, though, when Girl 2 decided to befriend Girl 1, did she realize that she was buoying up next to a female, twenty-something, protestant Woody Allen? Did she know the neurosis that she was in for?
I was browsing my new, accidental favorite bookstore in Wichita. I was looking at the design magazines. Design magazines are so expensive but they are gorgeous. But I loved that I got to overhear that conversation. I loved it so much that I pulled up a table and re-wrote it on the back of another hastily written essay idea. My purse: it is full of barely legible, scrawled essay ideas, quick scenes, lines of provocative alliteration. Could there be a more ominous (not to mention) obvious first line for a sell-out, NY Times best seller?
Girl 1 and Girl 2 got up to leave shortly after I sat down but on their way out, she took a piece of what appeared to be coconut cream pie to go. I get it--I'd include that in my last meal, too.
So, yeah, I was driving from the only part of Wichita with which I am familiar to a part of Wichita that I've never been to--well, I have been there once before but it was dark and I was wearing platform shoes and had two cider drinks and forgive me if it didn't ring a whole lotta bells. Mid-trip, I was getting hungry and I was looking for a drive through. But I couldn't find any. I drove through a twisty-turny residential neighborhood. Those damn suburbs sprouting up out of nowhere all of the time. I passed bistros with names that had too many vowels to be pronounceable and I passed all kinds of McDonalds but I kind of have a thing about that. I don't mind grabbing a McChicken when I'm in McPherson but when I'm out of town I don't like to do anything that I could do at home. That means no Walmarts and no McDonalds. And that's about it because my little town pretty much only has Walmart and McDonalds.
So I'm driving down Douglas and I see a bookstore and I didn't even think, I just turned in. Usually, and especially in unfamiliar driving situations, it's difficult for me (even when I'm all alone) to make a decision but today I learned that I break for bookstores. I was in town for about four hours and, in addition to my stop at the mall, The Spice Merchant, and Starbucks, I visited three bookstores. This is one of the pure delights of the singleton. I can change my plans. Go wherever I want, stay as long as I want. And today I went to Watermark Books at the corner of Douglas and Oliver and I stayed for a while. And I want to go back--to join their Modern Classic book club where they discuss Post WWII fiction. I've always thought that I had such a specific taste in literature that it was beyond genre. But I was wrong. It's called "Modern Classic". Yet another example of how I tend to think I'm way cooler than I really am.
So there's the bookstore, which is what I went for and then there's the cafe--which got me to stay. The menu is kind of perfect except that you want to order based on your food tastes but it's hard to not incorporate some literary allegiance in there, too. If I'd read the menu more carefully, I would have gone with Whitman but I ate Lolita (just like Humbert--zing! Pow!).
The Moby Dick: a tuna sandwich, obviously
The Don Quixote: A salad comprised of field greens--and black beans and corn and other stuff.
Leaves of Grass: Bruschetta topped with a green/ cream cheese spread. Clever.
The Great Gatsby: A meatloaf sandwich--I loved the idea.
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Banana, peanut butter and honey on a bagel. That's breakfast at Libby's.
Like I said, I had Lolita. She was a turkey and provolone sandwich with pesto and walnuts. Friggin' delicious. Friggin'. Delicious.
I'm totes going back. Next time I get lost on my way downtown. Or next time I want to join a book club an hour away from my home.
So I learned that there's a name for my preferred genre of literature and I learned where a new (okay, so they've been around since the 70's but it's new to me) favorite chill-out-spot is and I learned that walnuts on a sandwich sounds uncomfortable but it's actually really great. Some other things I learned, today (these learning moments were digitally captured in my phone in an effort to keep you visually stimulated):
Suggestive advertising is suggestive.
Proactive is not only available via infomercial, it's also available in a vending machine.
Did you know that acne thrived on indecision? I'm not saying it's not true, I'd just like to see some sources.
Also, hundreds of years from now, someone's going to say "A Proactive vending machine--isn't the just the most quaint little antique?" And I'll be dead but I'll still be irritated.
Precious little baby bananas are sooo precious. Yes they are. Who's a precious baby banana?
I also learned, and this is one for which there (sadly, I know) is no photographic evidence, that if you ask for a free bra--sometimes you get a free bra. And it looks so good.