"Sure," I said.
|Why people trust me, I don't know. I look ridiculous.|
Her daughter, nineteen, looked just like her. She told me some more of the story: the younger daughter, from a relationship that was already on the way out. That they would be going to see her eldest at Christmas, that this was the first contact they'd had in ten years. That she never would have gotten the text if she had, as originally planned, been out on a date with a new boyfriend on Friday -- instead, he had told her that morning that he wasn't sure he saw a future with her, and so she was at home drinking wine when the text from her daughter came through. That he had called her the day before and said he wanted to be her boyfriend, that they were in it for the long haul. "So now I'm in here getting birth control," she said. "I think God brought my daughter back to me at exactly the right time."
|Everyone could use a little gratitude du jour, right?|
Then they called her name and she went to the back rooms and I was still sitting there.
People talk to me. They always talk to me. I don't know if it's because I look non-threatening (or ridiculous, as my current sartorial style could best be described as either "deranged vagrant" or "muppet") or because people are so full of stories and nobody to listen to them, that they just spill out all over the place.
|I loved this woman's style.|
|826 Brooklyn and superhero supplies.|
Fortunately, since I am in San Luis Obispo, there aren't that many Mexican restaurants. Or Mexicans. Or anyone who isn't white. SLO is the whitest Californian town I have ever spent any time in; I thought San Francisco was pretty white, but SLO takes the cake. Cal Poly, the top notch engineering school in California, serenely presides on the hill over the town, and the ocean is only ten miles away; this is simultaneously a student town and a retiree town, so the vast majority of people are either under twenty or over fifty. I've been spending all my social time with Ray's Burning Man friends, though, and they definitely don't fit this demographic so at least I'm bucking the trend wherever I am.
The funny thing to me about being back in California is that although I have the attitude of a Californian (or an Australian: laid back, easygoing, prefer being barefoot and eating quinoa burgers), I walk like a New Yorker. Brisk, weaving efficiently through crowds, I know exactly where I'm going and how to get there, and god help anyone who gets in my way. Fortunately, nobody ever walks in California, so I usually have the sidewalks to myself.
|Are you a villain? I was.|