The hostess asks “Are you dining alone today?” in an entirely too chipper of a voice that feels like salt pouring into the wound of my recently broken heart; of course she wouldn’t know that. I try not to hate her for being so happy, or cry because I’m not, and respond with a charming “Yes, I’m alone, unless someone wants to sit with me, of course.” She giggles in response, and ushers me to a table by the window. I can see the parking lot below as we are on a hill that slopes toward the Puget Sound which I can also see in the distance, but it’s the basket of hanging flowers just outside my window that catches my immediate attention. It has a drip system feeding it water, which is actually dripping. Why on earth does something in the Seattle area, where it rains 364 days out of the year, and being right next to the waterfront, need a drip system?
Shortly after I decide the quandary about the drip system isn’t worth my brain cells to figure out, the hostess seats a couple (man and woman) behind me. Let the eve’s dropping begin! I quickly guess that they are not a co-habituating couple as the woman begins conversation about ‘her’ house and what she is doing to it; with ‘my’ this, and ‘my’ that, I can only assume she lives alone. She begins her soon to be annoying chatter with an entirely too detailed description of the cat door, yes, CAT door, she wants to install in her house.
Without missing a beat, she transitions to listing other monotonous things she is doing to her house in the coming weeks such as cleaning the moss off her roof, having the vents inspected for little critters, and cleaning out her sewing room to make room for her neice and her new husband who will be staying with her until they get their own place. The man finally speaks as the woman takes a quick breath and he says sheepishly, “That room is kinda small isn’t it?” She quickly snaps that she is NOT giving up her office for them. She then goes on quite an adamant roll that they will also have to get a storage unit because she is not cluttering up her garage with their things and they better think they are only staying one month or less because she will not allow anyone to take advantage of her. There is silence for a fair amount of time and I sense I will not hear the man’s voice again while I, or they, are there. Finally the woman breaks the silence to say “You know, that bacon will last a lot longer if you don’t cook it.”
As I tilt my head to ponder if I really just heard that seemingly completely random comment, I realize that I haven’t really moved my head this whole time intent on listening to their conversation, so I turn to watch a couple leaving the restaurant. They are in their Sunday best; he in a nice suit and she in a pretty, but plain black dress with a shawl that may have been her grandmother’s, and low pumps that almost look little girlish. The man in the suit walks over toward the passenger side of the minivan, perhaps the kids are at grandma’s. He is half way to the passenger door when he clicks the remote to unlock the woman’s door as he quickly turns around to get in the driver’s seat. What the…. Seriously? I think. You were two steps away from her door in that you could have opened it, and you made the grandiose effort to go to her side of the van just to hit the clicker… what a gent! NOT!
My thoughts of wanting to go kick this guy’s shins are interrupted by a man who just came in; seems to be a regular the way he is talking, or I should say shouting to the staff. He is yelling “Go SeaHawks” and pumping his fist in the air, even though there are no TVs in site and only country music is playing throughout the restaurant, which I suddenly think is odd for a chowder house, by the water, filled with sea décor. But back to the yelling guy; He yells ‘Go SeaHawks’, but he sounds it out like a donkey, who would ride the short bus if he were a child, would belt out ‘Gknow Heee-Hawz’. I’m thinking the guy is maybe a little deaf by the way he is talking loud and mispronouncing things making him seem belligerent. I notice he has a large scar running up the back of his nearly shaved head. I wonder what that’s all about.
I take a few more spoonfulls of my chowder and sip my tea. The chowder is coating my insides with goodness that feels like its wrapping a blanket around my organs. The tea is oh so soothing down my throat, and helping me to calm my horribly judgmental thoughts as I think, I should be less hard on myself – there are people far more odd than me. Wait, is that being less judgmental or more so? I’m not sure, but the tea is good.