I stopped for a cup of coffee this morning, and ended up taking a trip to the past.
The same group of men sit in the doughnut shop every morning. I'll nod and say "Hi", but that's the extent of the conversation. I don't know, or recognize any of them - until this morning.
As I pulled through the parking lot where the doughnut shop is located, I remembered a Sinclair gas station that sat in the spot in the 60's. When I went into the shop, I asked one of the men if he remembered the station. He didn't but he remembered the shops that were in the strip shopping center behind the doughnut shop. I told him of "Dino the Dinosaur" and the toys you could buy at the station. I think my brother had one. He like those things and had a collection that included a metal Texaco tank truck.
As we talked, we eventually reached the point where we were trading names and I realized he was married to a girl that graduated one year before I did. He was the younger brother of an older classmate that was killed in a tragic car wreck years ago. I remembered the accident. He continued talking and told me his mother was never the same until her death a few years ago. We talked for a few minutes longer; mostly about the old neighborhood and the buildings that were forever gone.
After I left, I was flooded with memories of the old neighborhood. I remembered the skating rink where I first held hands with a girl. It took forever for me to ask her. We skated the "slow songs" and neither of us could be called accomplished skaters. There we were, two painfully shy souls, sweaty hands, the overpowering fragrance of her mother's "White Shoulders" perfume and the embarassment of realizing neither of us could break the silence. I don't think I said more than a half dozen words the entire time. I knew that one wrong word would convince her that not only was I clumsy, I was, also, a complete idiot.
Those were different times. Maybe we were naive, or maybe we were more kind, but things changed and the skating rink closed after drugs, with violence, led to a huge loss in business. A safe haven for learning to socialize disappeared. A source of fond memories was gone forever.
In Case You've Wondered
My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.
If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com
One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.
I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.