New lunch spot in Berkeley. Crepevine. Ordered Denver Omelette with Coke. Eating by self on a lunch break, finally. No reps or leads with me. And I love my crew, truly love. But I needed a minute or set of minutes to self, to collect. To write.
Lady brings over Coke and I’m more than content with my choice. Other lunches I can cite I regret ordering what I did and not spending the time writing or doing something for writing, blogging, business. Something. The music of the day is more than just an encouraging nudge, but a direct instruction to make everything of the day I want it to be. For a minute considering dropping the only class I have for next semester, but then rationalize it a marketing opportunity, and speaking practice. Or, not so much practice but a training lab or ground for ideas new. I see the chef or cook making my plate. This town, as I’ve always seen it, one of activism of course but art, people and poetry, art and music, expression and freedom. So I write in the same sense and sameness.
Chef brings over brunch. Looks indescribable, if you must know. You must know, I tell myself, and you. These Road notes, city to city speaking Sonic engaging the population and principle communities. I want just a couple more sentences. Tell self to put down just a couple more, older guy on other side of restaurant with wife and friend, looking at menus while group of younger girls sits outside and laughs, enjoying their mimosas and talking to each potter like they haven’t seen each other in ages. This is what I do. Write at cafés, restaurants, random places and what’s happening— Chef tosses a bunch of clean silverware in the holder at distant 12, on the other side of the counter. Cook is on other side prepping plates, cooking or boiling, simmering something.
My time in Berkeley before working with Sonic is limited, to be brief. I came here a couple times when I lived in San Ramon, early 2000s. But now I’m here quite regularly. And the feel and voice is perfect for where I am in my story. Looking for more, more stories and more people, more experiences that contribute to my business identity and aims. Sounds of the restaurant move me, provoke more. I’m right where I need be. This is where my story really begins its composition and construction. If the Roads of Sonic and I never intersected I wouldn’t be here with this view of Shattuck, eating here, with this cold Coke, the omelette, the sliced sourdough toast, the ladies just outside the window at the small table eating salads.
Nearly done with lunch, thinking of getting a refill of Coke so I can write for a bit longer, just stay here and enjoy my time, the time to me to collect. Lady sees me either getting ready to leave, or that’s what I think she thought I was about to do but I ask her if refills are free, she says yes and rushes to get me another. All that remains on plate is some of the country potatoes and the sliced sourdough, which is surprisingly sour. I’ve never found sourdough bread sour, really. These slices are. Not to their detriment, just I notice, that’s all
This will be my last meal out, in field, for a while. That’s what I say now but who knows if I’ll hold to that. Want to open a store, store front of some kind, or at least have my office set up. Yeah, that’s what I really mean. Just my office, my blogging hut, little literary parlor, outside home. I pick at the bread, again. I’m unusually relaxed. And not just here at Crepevine, here in Berkeley, but today. Today is a day for me like few are.
Catch myself spacing out a bit, and pull myself back to keys. UPS driver a couple tables behind me having something for his lunch break I calculate, then chef tells one of the girls from outside group that he’s going to bring out some specialty crepe, complimentary. I look up at see Chef holding crepe on plate with some mint leaves around it and a birthday candle. Woman comes back in to check on it carrying her little one. Candle lit and Chef’s daughter, I’m assuming walks it out, carefully. She looks uncomfortable in each step, like she’s never walked out a candled plate before. Hear them all singing, then clapping, then nothing but cars on Shattuck and the music they have playing in car.
What’s right in front of me, what I write about. At least now. And maybe onward. Take fork into hand scooping some peppers and bit of onion and potato, bite. Wonder how I’m still hungry but I only had that cereal at desk this morning. I look down at a more barren plate and realize I am still hungry. Need to wait. Need to write, what’s here for me in Berkeley, my new writing city, the streets and communities and the more collective community of this area. Couple more bites and push plate forward with napkin atop. I’m done. Now, just sipping the Coke refill and typing. Man walks in and asks questions then leaves, thanks the lady for something. Directions possibly. I can see this as me when I’m on the Road, like this but more expansively, in other states and countries. What’s in front of me, my topic. Restaurant staff ever-observant of what happens around them, who’s here and who’s walking by and the ones that actually stop here. And am I ever please with my election to here stop, order the Denver, sit here by window.
Readying to leave. Walk over to crew in the Safeway parking lot. Chef talks to hostess, which I think might be his wife. He jokes with her about a dollar bill, about money or something. All in fun and good. Feel a bit tired, sip Coke, more people come in. Rub right eye once. Then I tell self not to leave. I don’t want to leave. Pies in display case behind me and to left, chef and consistent cook laughing about something. Wanting a shop of my own…. But of what.