Today I set out to lift the drooping heads and strengthen weak knees of my friends in the City. I think it helped them...I hope so. I know it helped me. I answered the phone a lot, speaking hope to despair and joy to fear. I stopped in at the spice shop and helped Able and Sam a little bit, handing out some honey crisp apples, and then treated myself to a walk around a quilting shop. (That helped me.)
Then I went to Pambe Ghana and then to Irma's and splurged on a No Name Ranch burger with Rings. I was sitting alone on the patio, staring past the traffic, thinking, planning, holding all those friends in my heart, when the young waiter brought me out my drink and a straw.
Isn't it amazing how, when we are overwhelmed with many things, one small gesture can bring back the sun.
It was the straw that did it. It was a bendy straw, the absolute best kind of straw ever. Bendy straws are not the norm (unless you're in the hospital) and most places don't use them. The are not necessary, but they are so much nicer to drink with, so easy. I nearly burst into tears.
The poor waiter thought he'd done something wrong and sat down across from me. We had a nice chat (it was well past the lunch rush) about the straw, the state of the state...the state of the nation, the election. He's concerned. He has reasons to be concerned. I encouraged him to talk to his friends, making sure they get to the polls in the mid-terms. I urged him to become educated on the issues facing both the state and the nation. I told him it was going to be up to his generation to keep the lights on.
And then I gave him a twenty dollar tip. So he would remember.