Monday, November 28, 2011

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

It’s dead now.
You may have believed
That it had finished over a year ago
But for the first time in your prophetic life
You were wrong.

In a strange and wholly enjoyable turn of events
I came to the realization
That I could strip away the dead weight
Of my perceived mistakes and long list of shortcomings
All it took was two 3 hour drives.

I still listen to that tune
In fact it’s one of my favorites
Just the other day I stopped inches from that downtown deadzone
And backed up a long line of people
Waiting for their turn at the red light.

I had to hear that song,
But this time it was to hear the background vocals
And not the frontman,
The one you said
You’d die to meet.

I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance
To tell you my new story
Of how I dodged my way through a labyrinth
Just to see that band


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 2)

When I think about the idea of Northern Americana (remember, there's still a difference) I can't help but think about how intricate the consumption of alcohol is to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that we're all a bunch of drunks or that the only unique thing about the northern midwest involves alcohol. But there is no denying the fact that alcohol in some sort of form makes it's way into many activities while also being an activity in itself.
The problem is, when it comes to alcohol there's always a price. Sometimes it's minor, sometimes it's massive, but there's always some sort of price to pay. For most people, like me, it's a hangover the next morning. Now what's fascinating to me about hangovers is the nearly endless list of remedies that people have put together over the years. For me, it's a plate of biscuits and gravy with a side of hashbrowns and cheese at the Country Cafe.
Even in my injured state I was able to take my seat, order my food, drink my hot chocolate (they were out of coffee) and learn a few things about the world.

Lesson #1: There's something oddly welcoming about an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #2: There's also nothing quite as depressing as an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #3: Regardless of the large windows that reveal a nice view of main street, questions about the weather will be thrown at you. This isn't because the people asking you are blind or oblivious, it's a test to see what kind of person you are.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 1)

I live in a one bedroom apartment with low ceilings, a leaky shower head, threadbare carpets and cracked cracked tiles. There isn't a lot of space for all my things, and I'm afraid of saying certain things too loudly due to the thinness of the walls. But, even in the face of these things I love my apartment for a few reasons, most importantly though is its proximity to a little local cafe.
The cafe is a typical slice of Northern Americana (there is a difference, just ask Garrison Keillor). The coffee is served incredibly hot, or just not quite hot enough. The food is good, but leaves you questioning your life decisions as you stare into the little pool of oil left behind. The decor is inviting at first, then as you finish your third cup of coffee it becomes confusing. The walls are pink with green trim, the wallpaper border is this rustic looking pattern of apples in a bucket. This is paired with multiple wooden signs depicting sliced, whole, and quartered apples. But there isn't a single item on the menu with apples in it. The servers are polite and demand politeness in return.
The clientele is the most fascinating though. The cafe serves a wide selection of people. The usual helping of senior citizens with strong opinions on just about everything. Factory workers just getting off their shifts. Construction workers in the summer, hunters in the fall and just a few people like me who have motives, other than eating, for being there. The patrons of this cherished small town establishment have taught me a few things as I eavesdropped on their conversations. I have held onto these lessons for awhile but now I wish to share them. Here is a few nuggets of wisdom that I heard today. More will come as I hear them.

Lesson #1: Wishful thinking is something all great men possess. Apparently seeing 14 deer, five of which are decent sized bucks and not taking a shot of any of them because you know that the biggest deer in the world is still out there speaks volumes about how strong your character is.

Lesson #2: Nicknames are earned. Once you have earned your nickname you will tell every person you meet your nickname and how you received this nickname. Upon telling your story to someone you have now qualified them to receive there own nickname someday unless they already have one, if this is the case you must listen to their story as a courtesy. This process can be repeated multiple times with the same person.

Lesson #3: If you drink your coffee with sugar, you are a pussy no question. Cream is okay, only if you use it in an attempt to support the local dairy farmers. I support the local dairy farmers.