Every day I eat my lunch alone.
Some days like today I venture out to a little place across the street from where my temp job is called Tommy Colina's. I was going to Natural Kind and the bonus there was to say hi to my friend Will, but the bonus here is that it is literally across the street.
They are slowly getting used to seeing me from time to time and have now started even knowing my order. "Chicken Caesar Salad today?" the waitress asks me with a chipper smile?
I respond "Yes and my sweet tea thanks".
The waitress walks away bouncing to the machine to enter my order while I get up and go fill my cup. They allow me to bring in my own container and fill it up as I want. It probably is really a large order since it is a 16 oz container and their cups are 12 oz but I think they only have one size so they only charge me for it once.
I asked last week if they cared if I brought my won and the gal said "Go ahead, it saves us the cost of a cup!" So ever since...I have.
Generally I ask for no croutons but today my mind was in many other places. My car had issues overheating, I barely got any sleep from dealing with new living arrangements with someone, I am stressed out at work, my son recently was in an accident, a good friend of mine was recently in an accident, and as always my relationships are who knows where.
The salad came to my table almost immediately and I noticed other customers around me peeing over at me. This happens when I become a regular somewhere. Actually this happens when ANYONE becomes a regular. Their orders usually make it to the table faster because they start making them the moment you walk in the door. I know I used to be a waitress.
I look down and think Darn it I forgot to say no croutons! I start scouring my salad moving the lettuce here and there to pull out the croutons and place them on my napkin. I asked the waitress for another napkin and proceeded to open up my Kindle to start reading a new book I got a sample of called Safe Haven from Nicolas Sparks. I love his books and he is one of my utmost favorite authors. The downfall more than likely someone IS going to die at the end and most people don't like books like that. I don't care. Though I am one to truly beleive in happy endings, I do realize that is a fantasy and not everything can be a happy ending.
It makes me want to write and thus why I am posting this now. Probably why I am posting in this style and manner. I can't wait until NANOWRIMO to write again. I need to write now!
Anyway, I realize while I am eating I have my little quirks about this routine. I move the lettuce all around looking for the greenest parts. I quietly read my Kindle not bothering other customers or the staff. I scrape the leftover cheese and oil off the bottom of the dish woth my fork to get a good last bite.
During this process I have been sipping my sweet tea from my container until it is nearly gone. I like to drink one full drink while I am there and then refill it to take with me.
They bring me the check and almost no matter what I order I tip $5. Today's bill was worthy of it making my bill $15 but just as another person in my life says about his paid lunches "The sanity and moment to get away from desk and not work all the time is worth the price. In addition I don't have to make food every day."
There is a peacefulness about my lunches that I like, don't get me wrong. But after awhile my heart years for the laughter I hear two tables over. I miss the times when LOLA and I from WAMU would go out or eat out lunches together and laugh and giggle about silly things and enjoy our moments being "work friends".
I don't have work friends often because most of my jobs are on contract and so people don't wan to get close to me because I am leaving soon in their mind. In my mind I think like Lola and I did and that is "Who knows what could happen. We may be lasting friends!" and we are. We Facebook, we used to hang out with each other even after my contract ended, we did many things together and still talk from time to time to this day.
To some, eating alone is not a bother, to me as I said, it can be peaceful...but it also can be quite lonely.
As I finish lunch one of the other waitresses takes me bowl and reminds me "You know you can say no croutons?"
I tell her a bit about my sleep plight and my car plight and she agrees telling me about her cars shocks and struts issues. I refill my tea and as I walk out the door hollar out to the staff "Have a good day!"
They yell back, "YOU TOO!"
I walk across the street, push an electronic button for my floor and wait for the elevator to tell me which elevator it is going to give me as the elevators here are thinking elevators and get you on the best elevator with the best most time effective route.
I get on #1 because it tells me too.
Another gentleman gets on the same elevator going to floor 12. My elevator routine is to ask people either what is on the floor they are going to or what they do. I asked. He barreled off some answers. My floor opened and I wished him a nice day. The doors closed.
I walked back to my cube and set my stuff down and felt the urge to type. I have been interrupted 5 times since I started and answered a few questions for work. But the burning desire to get this blog out there for some reason is hounding me. I don't know why. Maybe someone else needs to see this blog today or soon. Or perhaps it is a lesson for me or for those close to me who read my blogs. Either way. It is written.
Until our blog paths cross another day I share my life with you, may you live your life and not someone else's and I will try to do the same. :)