contrast

dear world,

i am travelling again this week. this is the last time for work for the foreseeable future, but here i am anyway in gainesville, florida. hello, florida. nice to see you again. ironically, the least expensive and most convenient place to stay is this killer bed and breakfast 3 blocks from downtown. hooray for frugality!

the nice woman who picked me up at the airport (hooray for no rental car!) gave me a list of restaurants within walking distance and the one she recommended is closed on mondays. so i wandered towards the lights and the people and found a tapas bar with a half off bottles and cork and carry. not bad, gainesville.

enter the contrast. as i sit outside at my table, a woman walking on the sidewalk asks a server for a big glass of ice water in a to go cup because she doesn’t have any money. she says, i’ll wait. my table is the last table by the fence and she begins to talk with me. as she’s chatting, my side salad arrives with lots of colors.  i have to say, it wasn’t the most spectacular salad i’ve ever had, but it was fresh and good and what i was looking for. the server comes back out with her water and tells her not to bother the customers. that’s me.

she’s quiet for a while silently sipping her water. in this time, my taste of wine comes and i like it. my server brings me a bottle which i taste again and still like. then my tapas of terribly tasty crab cakes with a cold salad of (possibly pickled) yellow squash and dark leafy greens arrives and i devour it.

as i pour my second glass of wine, she engages me again. asking about trains to tennessee- the conversation spurred by if i like my wine and how much a shot of tennessee whiskey costs. how maybe if she takes a train west she’ll get a job. there’s no jobs in florida. maybe if she wears a disguise she can get out of florida. or maybe oklahoma city, that’s near tennessee, right?

at this point i feel terrible. i just finished an excellent meal with fresh greens and crab of all things. i felt frugal because i ordered tapas and cork and carry and here’s a 59 year old woman who can’t get out of her state without a disguise and really doesn’t know where she’s going anyway.

appreciating what i have,

cm

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