Saturday, March 06, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Dawn arrived in a cold coat of gray.

I walked back up to the cafe, sat down on a rickety, wooden bench on the porch and waited.

Finally, one of the women turned on the blue-and-red neon "OPEN" sign and unlocked the door.

I walked in and sat down on one of the vinyl-covered stools at the counter.

Five-minutes later, I handed the menu back and ordered the cowboy breakfast.

I wrapped my chilled fingers around a mug of hot coffee while I watched the "TODAY" show from the TV on a shelf.

A group of regulars began to straggle in and that made me smile. I didn't want the ladies to face a dining area filled with empty tables.

I was halfway through my Paul Bunyan-sized meal when a big guy with very long hair walked in. He grabbed a menu and slid onto the stool next to mine.

I thought he looked sad or troubled...but I obviously didn't know why.

After a bit of small talk, I realized that he was just "passing through."

When I finished my meal, I pulled my big backpack on my shoulders.

"You know, you have to make the most of life or it will make nothing of you" I said.

"So you're just out wandering around?" he asked.

"Something like that" I answered.

"Where are you going today?"

"That way" I answered, pointing west, "To wherever I end up."

I smiled and added, "My email signature, that I made up, explains it all: I don't think outside the box...I rise up with a balloon."

He laughed and said, "I like that."

I thanked the ladies for breakfast, told the guy goodbye and walked out the door.

About ten-minutes later, the big guy walked out and noticed me standing with my pack by the side of the highway.

His pickup and a small trailer were parked across the road. He stopped for a moment as if he wanted to tell me something.

Then he turned around, got into his truck and drove away in the opposite direction.

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