Tuesday, May 24, 2011

California Conversations: In the Booth



A couple of weeks ago, an old high school friend txted me that he was going to be in Anaheim for work, and wanted to take me to dinner.

"It's not fancy," I said, "But can we meet at Bob's Big Boy Broiler?"

It turned out to be the best thing, not only because it's situated midway between Downtown LA and Anaheim in Downey, CA, but because we were able to seat ourselves in a big white booth and talk for two and a half hours.

Inevitably, the conversation turned to my love life, or lack thereof, and my friend scoffed when I told him flatly, "It just ain't happenin'."

He tried to convince me that I could find love, have a relationship, get married, make babies, etc., even though I've spent 35 years doing the exact opposite of that, fielding rejection after rejection, so many that they started to sound like different actors all auditioning for the same role, reading the same script, only with slightly varied interpretations of character and motivation.

A while later, our evening seemed to be wrapping up after he'd had enough beer and I enough Diet Coke. "How about a coffee?" I said.

"Are you kidding? I'm an insomniac! I'm not drinking coffee now!" he exclaimed.

"Exactly! You're not going to sleep anyway..."

"See? This coming from the girl who's given up on life. You want me to give up on sleeping!"

"No," I said. "I see this as a great opportunity. If you're not going to sleep, then the entire night is open for whatever may come your way!"

My friend just shook his head, and didn't order a coffee.

I don't think he slept, though I'm sure he tried.

If I spent all of my time trying to find love, a husband, a baby daddy, refusing to do anything alone, I'd never have become the person I am today, a nearly completely different person than I was five years ago: hiker, adventurer, explorer.

But if we were still in that booth, my friend would ask me, "How am I ever going to sleep, if I keep drinking coffee at night?"

Because he believes it's possible, one day, he will sleep.

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