If you’ve ever been there you will know the scene; colorful jungle leaf tables, hard faux wooden tiles, a plastic palm tree that looks as if it was the school project of a middle school student high on correction fluid, enough bamboo to get a panda frisky and Caribbean Carrot Smoothie at 380 calories and almost as many dollars, not to mention no Wi-Fi connection.
This place is curiously unlike a rainforest in that it’s always so cold and bare as opposed to being humid and crowded with trees. I feel like going up to the counter to ask how many endangered naked people with Frisbees rammed in their earlobes have actually showed up to demand a smoothie. I decide better of it.
In my present job it’s not unusual to spend whole days almost alone with my projects. Paradoxically this appeals to the introvert in me but appalls the extrovert in me.
On rainy days like this it’s easy to feel a long way from anyone and anywhere. But then I don’t miss the whispered intrigue and backroom dealings of the newsroom. Recently I went to lunch with another member of the escape committee who was clearly more traumatized than me by what he experienced
“They eat their children. They chew you up and spit you out,” he told me.
The offered him a pay raise to stay when he handed in his notice. Then when they realized it wouldn't work they made sure he told nobody he was leaving so as he could just be erased from the scene like Trotsky in those photos.
His comments make me think. Hey they didn’t offer me a pay raise. They gave me a nice cake, though, even if someone had rather badly iced “Fuck Off” on it. I assumed they hired the middle school kid high on correction fluid.
So for now I’m trying my luck with Miss Vickie’s All Natural Kettle Cooked jalapeno chips idly watching some woman unload her car outside Farm Fresh wearing age inappropriate white hose.
Got any plans for Memorial Day? I’m home alone because my family (minus me) has been invited to my wife’s sister’s place in Charleston, so am spared the joy of eight hours of infighting and dirty diaper fights on the gridlocked I-95 surrounded by brash shouty people with Pennsylvania plates.
Already I have one hot date lined up in the form of a hike with a group of grizzled war veterans – why do I always think of the wheelchair fight in Born on the Fourth of July?
At least this will give me a couple of days to ponder the meaning of life, work on Novel Number 2 and to think long and hard about why on earth anyone would want to go to Tropical Smoothie Café.