Monday, April 4, 2011

On Becoming a Regular

Mabel and I had another adventure Friday. We bought colors at the Lotus Krishna Temple and decided to try to find another hole-in-the-wall diner. A drive down State street and our stomach's preference led us to One-Man-Band Diner which, as the title implies, was ran by one man. We had a blast ordering from a phone in our booth and the general 1950's diner vibe, but the best part was that we knew we were at a local favorite. When we walked in, every customer looked over as if they were expecting to see someone they knew and as they picked up their orders, they greeted the cashier/waiter/cook by name. Maybe if I wasn't with Mabel, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but the great thing about Mabel is that she notices the same sort of things I do and so we talked about our dream to become a regular.

Even if I'm going on six years as a college student, my time here seems transitory (in Provo, but not of Provo). Lately, I've been reminded that the time is approaching when I must leave this town (and state, I hope) to make my way in the world. Where will I live? West coast? East coast? A foreign land? What will I be doing? I'm still trying to figure all this out, but when I go to a restaurant and see people recognizing each other and enjoying their favorite spot, I'm excited for the possibilities. I didn't like BYU until I found a community first at the writing center and then in the grad program, and it will probably take me awhile to like wherever I move next, but becoming a regular signifies finding a community, even if the only thing tying that community together is food. While the openness of my future is overwhelming at times, I'm comforted to know that I can look forward to interesting people, food, and experiences. So while Mabel talked about being a new age mom, taking her kids to their favorite diner, I imagined being a new instructor, trying all the restaurants until I find the one where I'll be able to say, "The usual, please."

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