I’m sitting in a Caribou coffee shop.  I just polished off a white chocolate mocha as I listened to a woman chatter incessantly to her friend.  She was a machine gun of questions–probing and prying–and never waited for an answer.

“Are you drinking cranberry juice?  Are you hydrating?  Did you get your haircut?  Did you enjoy it–getting your haircut?”

She had an idea for teaching people to use eBay and craigslist.  She is also fascinated by a refrigerator that dispenses both water and ice.

At least she’s current, topical, refreshing, and not mundane at all.  She’s a real mover and shaker.

It is a somber day.  I’m a little thick from last night; the drinking as much as the weirdness.  And while I do have a barbecue to look forward to, I know this is the last day of my vacation before I head north again.

I’m out of money.  I saw far too few friends.  I didn’t read enough.  I miss my dad already.  I should have seen a movie while I was home–anything–we don’t have a theater.  I miss my grandma.

I try not to be regretful, but it’s easier than remembering the highlights for some reason.

Let’s try harder.

I went to an anime convention.  It was…interesting.  I experience very few things that the average person does not; but I have experienced this.  Twice.  This year I even had a costume.  It was subtle…but it was something.  I try to explain to my friends why I dress up for the convention (after I explain to them why I’m going).  No matter how much you think it is a convention of freaks, when you’re on the inside without a costume–you’re the freak.  The leers, the glares, the mistrust.  That’s a polo shirt.  You’re normal.

But I experienced it.  I ate the Mochi.

Do not eat the Mochi.

I had cold lasagna for breakfast.  Twice.

I took my dad to Books Revisited, the massive used book store downtown.  It’s surreal–straight out of a fantasy novel–and I’ve always wanted him to see it.  Small victory.  I found a Transformers Field Guide–full color photos of every Transformer produced from 1984 through 1990.  Big victory.

I watched the first season of Full Metal Alchemist and loved it.  Mainstream as it is, I’ve never seen a show capture relationships and loss as well as it does.  Yes, it’s anime.  And guess what?  I have a whole list of them to catch up on.  Might’ve been the convention.

I ate Mexican with my old Borders crew.  It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since we closed.  I was only there 4 months, but it felt like longer–ask any of them.  I like to believe I was a fiery splash of chaos into their organized little world.  Truthfully, they are some of the greatest people you will ever meet.  So quirky, so interesting.  If the store hadn’t closed, I would still be there–and how different my life would be.

I told my grandma that my favorite lunch in high school was Hamburger Gravy and she made it for me.  Then we watched the neighbor’s two black cats teeter and balance on the peak of a dilapidated roof from her window.

I got carded in a liquor store and the clerk told me it was because I was wearing Pokemon buttons.  Touche.

I went to a comic book store and engorged myself at a Chinese Buffet.  Played Bocce ball and drank a “Strip and Go Naked,” which is apparently equal parts limeade and vodka, plus 6 beers.

I went job application-collecting with Brett, which I didn’t think people did anymore.  It was more for moral support then want of a job.  I kept a couple for myself–you never know.

I bought a hat.

I pressed my face against the glass every time I passed a known disc golf course.  If the pins were up, I would play.  But they never were.

I spent 3 afternoons at a coffee shop and didn’t creatively write anything.  I didn’t hate myself for it.

I slept in the loft at my grandma’s house and listened to the rain.  Yes, rain.  It’s been such a long winter, I didn’t think it existed anymore.  In the distance, a train whistled.  Her house is so close to the tracks.  I think grandmothers’ houses are required to be, or you wouldn’t hear that whistle.

I went to bed when I wanted to and woke up the same way.  At the end of a trip, isn’t that what really counts?

Yes, tomorrow I head north.  I will listen to my friends call me an asshole because I didn’t get a chance to see them and know they are doing it because they love me.  I will go back to a cold, damp room in someone’s basement and roll out the generous carpet square my dad pilfered for me and wait, wait, wait for the spiders.  It’s their room too, after all.



One thought on “detour

  1. Gahhh, Books Revisited! I didn’t know they were still in business…. Once upon a time, it’s where I picked up all my vintage V.C. Andrews hardcovers. I’ll have to stop in when I’m in Minnesota this Fall.

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