What has become apparent to me is that every time I venture outside of my apartment to eat, I come face to face with a blog post. Usually this is a positive experience. Other times….not so much. It’s Miami after all, and sometimes all of that Botox makes people a little crazy.
In my quest to balance my writing with my overall sanity and my love of food, I decide to take my sleek MacBook Air to a jazz bar attached to what is, admittedly, an upscale restaurant. I shower (really) and put on appropriate clothing. I need to get away from my noisy Halloween frenzied frat and enter into, what I believe, will be a world of grown-up civility.
I find a tiny table jammed against the wall and order a steak (which I was craving, after my recent and dangerous brush with vegetarianism) and a glass of red wine. The steak, although tiny and over-priced, is perfectly cooked to medium rare, and I savour every bite (a good thing because there’s only about three bites anyway.)
Belly full (or sort of full,) the jazz duo becomes the perfect backdrop to a new and exciting chapter. I open my Mac, order a Grand Marnier and settle into a writing zone of pure bliss, stopping every now and then to quietly sing along to a Nora Jones tune or two.
But then the unthinkable happens and my writer’s flow is broken.
I become aware of bodies hovering over me, like dark and dangerous clouds. I look up and find myself staring into the eyes of misery, in the form of two overly perfumed old bats. Like two Halloween witches they cackle for a moment and feign a touch of friendless until frozen face witch says, “Why don’t you go to Starbucks?”
“You want me to come to Starbucks with you?” I say, both confused and afraid. These dames don’t look like my idea of good time.
“No.” she says, leaning in closer, her smoker’s voice raspy and her face managing only a few awkward twitches. “Go there.” She points to the door. ” This isn’t that kind of restaurant.”
“That kind of restaurant?” I look down at my clothes, but they are modest and fitting, my bra straps are covered and I’m wearing glasses. Does this woman think I’m Hooker? A high-priced call girl booking appointments on her laptop?
I look at the other witch who seems to have some control over her facial muscles, but she only shrugs, obviously complacent in the attack.
Unable to furrow her brows, and unhappy with my lack of enthusiasm for her plan, frozen face deepens her voice until she sounds like Darth Vader’s mother and says, “If you need the Internet go to Starbucks.”
“But I’m not using the Internet, “ I say. “I’m writing.”
“Writing?” She cackles incredulously, and repeats the word, “Starbucks. “
Before I’m able pull myself out of my stocked stupor and garner the words necessarily to tell these ladies where to go, they gather their capes and fly out of the restaurant leaving me open-mouthed and needing a Pepto Bismol after what had otherwise been a perfectly delicious steak dinner.
Later, back in the elevator of the frat, I’m greeted by a couple of friendly Ninja Turtles and a walking-talking Ho-Ho pastry. I think back to the witches of the steak house and question my ideas of civility. Next time I crave food, music and creative inspiration, I’ll buy a keg and some hot dogs and throw a party at the frat—invite a couple of Ninjas and a few ho-hos and see how that works out. There’s nothing to lose here, really.