Letters to Holly

Wednesday, December 1

Reading and Chewing

I've shaken up my weekly routine a bit by eating actual meals for lunch. I previously avoided all restaurants during my lunch break for a number of reasons, but mostly I didn't want to be That Guy Who Eats Alone. It's sad. I've always found it sad to see, and I didn't want to multiply that feeling by being That Guy.

I used to at at my office. When the office eating policy changed, I took to window shopping to kill my lunch break, and I'd snack to maintain my blood sugar. Recently though, I decided it was no sin to sit down and eat a meal, and I've ventured into a few of the local eateries: Golden Palace (great for lunch), Firehouse Subs (overpriced), Burger King (heavy on the stomach), and others. Whenever I went to a restaurant, I took a book. Otherwise, I hit a store or two and grab Starbucks and bananas for lunch. I think that helped me lose weight, and it is a filling meal. I eventually worked up curiosity about the sports bar and went in a few weeks back with a West Wing scriptbook.

Yesterday was my third trip into the sportsbar across the street, and I had a new book, The Wordy Shipmates, an extended essay on the Pilgrims. I've probably created a reputation as That Weird Book Guy because, come on, who takes a book to a sports bar? But the lunch prices are good, and I'm filled up, and it's well lighted. There are banks of TV screens showing mostly sports highlights, and I can only watch so much of that without hearing the channel. And instead of staring at the walls, I want to read. Yesterday, I made a shocking discovery: A man reading a book in a sportsbar lures waitresses. I'm sure, were I a hump, I could exploit this. I'm surprised by it, but the sight must be such a rarity that people slow down to interact with it like a car crash on the freeway.

One of the recurring comments during the Thanksgiving assembly was how much a baby instills within a new parent (me) an expanded scope of love and purpose. So far, I'm not feeling it. My resolve to care for the sidekick remains intact, and yes, I'm willing to punt other kids who bother him. But that alleged supernova glow of harmony doesn't broadcast through me. I'm still the same me as before, but now I have a small roommate who can't walk. I suppose I'm the kind of parent who doesn't romanticize the infant stages. I prefer someone who can talk and walk, someone who can convey a personality. I can work with that. I can grow attached to that. Now? He's a larva in clever onsies.

Picture of the Day
I found this yesterday.

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