Today was supposed to be a lovely day. I had plans to meet a former student across town for breakfast (where we'd discuss, among other things, her summer wedding that she'd asked me to officiate at); and after that I had a host of errands planned that would have me eventually loop back home.
Spring showers with periodic breaks were forecast and I was ready.
When I arrived at the cafe, I felt the sudden and dreaded moment of realizing that Crohn's was going to have its way with me -- and I still had to lock up my bike and get inside to a restroom and fumble with my clothes, and... dammit, the light wasn't working. And the other restroom was in use.
Every Crohnie's nightmare was unfolding and I couldn't stop it.
So I had an accident. In the dark. And I could not see a thing.
Eventually, I heard the other restroom door open and close, and before I could think about what I was doing, I bolted across the hallway and locked myself in the restroom that had a functioning light.
Then, cursing my Crohn's all the while, I spent the next twenty minutes doing emergency laundry in the restroom and reconciling myself to having breakfast in clean-but-wet slacks.
When I came out, I took aside the hostess, explained the situation and apologized profusely.
She was awesome, telling me not to worry about it and that she was sorry about the bathroom light.
Apparently, that light hasn't worked in some time, and there's a little table lamp that was supposed to be turned on before the cafe opened. It hadn't been. She told me not to worry, she'd take care of everything, and showed me to a booth.
I was grateful that she was so cool about it.
I've been to places where the proprietors weren't cool -- one even told me if I couldn't control myself I should never leave the house -- and being shown such kindness really helped my morning considerably.
I spread some newspapers down on my seat, and texted to let my former student know I'd arrived. She texted back that she had totally forgotten our meeting. And she was on the west side of town, too far away to make it here in time, even if I waited for her.
She was very sorry and told me to order whatever I liked, she'd pay me back for it when we met again.
And then I waited. And waited some more. And watched as people who'd been seated after me were getting their breakfasts served. it was clear to me by then that someone in the kitchen had lost my order.
My waitress noticed, and checked on it, and came back to tell me it was on its way.
Fifteen minutes later -- fully an hour after I'd placed my order -- I was served. it was hot, and tasty, and I was glad I didn't have to be somewhere else by a certain time.
My pants were still quite wet, but the newspaper was helping speed things along. I figured I'd ride them dry by the time I got home. I took my time eating and enjoyed every bite.
When I was ready to leave, the hostess came to my table and said, "I am so sorry about everything. Your breakfast is on me. Please come back anytime, we'd love to see you again."
I assured her I would, and thanked her again.
I went ahead with most of my errands. My pants were dry by the time I got halfway home. And the day wasn't a total loss. Plus, I got to ride. When I got home, I chucked my clothes in the laundry and took a hot shower. Then I settled down with a book and one of the cats. A pretty good afternoon in spite of itself.
Happy Cup Coffee Company provides the coffee for all the Cup & Saucer locations, and it's tasty.
Reflective Window Selfie on NE Broadway. It mostly didn't do more than drizzle the whole time I was out. Delightful and not too cold.
Below: How NOT to lock a bike. To be fair, this had probably left
outside all night. On SE Grand. Not a great idea all around.
Urban funk and grit: a building from another era, and probably not long for the world.
Five years from now I fully expect it to be gone, replaced by still more unaffordable housing.
SE 20th and Stark.
You gotta love this stuff while it's still here -- the old ugly buildings, the vacant lots, the potholed alleyways -- because they are survivors of a time when everything was not pristine and sanitized for our protection. And it's important that we still have things like this in our lives to keep us from becoming totally sterile and too safe. A little funk and dirt never killed anyone.