“It’s weird how life can point us to the places we find ourselves.”
If you’ve followed me over the years, I’m guessing you’ve noticed my rather romantic point of view. Took in my consistent calls to action as well as the we all matter perspectives that I’ve grown to believe. In all, living up to the promise I made to share the outlooks of others as we’ve grown a community made up of diverse people I identify as one of three categories: Strangers-now-friends, strangers in our midsts, and most recently, strangers-to-be-friends.
I often speak of being transparent, encourage us all to look, listen, and feel as we determine our whys and hows as we interact with one another. All the while asking us to pause our first impressions and calm our reactionary thoughts, and to apply what we observe and temper our emotions into well intended actions as we hear, say and do.
And yes, like I said—I’m a romantic. A heady guy with an optimistic outlook. But in this statement, and in my pledge of vulnerability, I’ve got to come clean. It’s not always easy to keep my mind in check.
So today as I drive I-15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and as the speed demon driver almost runs me off the road, my good intents snap.
He must have been doing three digits as he split the lane. His face staring in the rear view mirror as he pulled an abrupt lane cut that gave me little choice other that to power brake my 75 MPH pace. Behind me a semi truck honking as its driver reacted in an equally aggressive manner. Not killing me on a rain covered highway, as with a Mack truck grill inches from my rear bumper, its horn vibrated my brain to dizziness.
To say the least, my blood boiled as I screamed obscenities at the disappearing bumper that just cut me off. And I admit, if I met the driver, I know I’d hit with all the rage I could find.
My heart beating, I pull off the road. Unclench my hands from the steering wheel as at the bottom of the off ramp my imploded stomach shifts to an out of place secondary reaction—hunger.
It’s weird how life can point us to the places we find ourselves. For today, as at the very offramp were I regained my composure I welcomed the motivator who shifted my countenance: My grumbling stomach.
And as I scanned the left and right of the offramp that stopped me, I found my source of healing. The signature and freshly fried chicken of Peggy Sue’s diner. Home of the best comfort meal I’ve ever had.
But there was more than just the plate that is served to me, it was the literal spirit of the place. The 50’s music, the vintage wardrobe of the servers, and the museum like gallery of photos and memorabilia that smothered the walls. A place that pulls you away from your mobile devices, reminds you that human connections matter, and strips you of the madness of millennial living. A place that forces you to explore your why.
I finish my green beans, chow down the last of my chicken, and as I ask the staff if they are interested to be interviewed and photographed, the dining room comes into focus. It’s chairs filled with unknown road travelers face down in comfort, Peggy’s personality rises. For in the middle of the desert she thrives. Her open doors relatable to the constructs of our human exteriors. For even though she welcomed me as the angry person I was, she realized there was more than what at first met her eyes.
Dear Peggy, thanks for grounding me and looking beyond what I first presented to you.
And to the speeder who almost crashed me… I guess I need to do the same.
Talk tomorrow my good friends,