Monday, August 31, 2009

With Everything, To Go

I volunteered this afternoon auditing some books for a local org, and I finished and was driving home at about 4:00, which is the perfect time for Linner. So I took a little detour downtown and wound up at that food cart area on SW 4th and Hall, down by PSU. (Did you know Portland has a zillion food cart restaurants, all yummy? Now you do.) They have Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Cajun, Italian, Polish, and more. I decided on a Philly cheesesteak.

I didn't notice the guy, a little younger than me, was about to close up shop, but he said he'd make me a sandwich, no problem. While he cooked it, we started chatting, and it turned out to be a great conversation. He asked if I'd had a good weekend, and I told him that I'd taken another kayaking class and had been kind of bummed at how I did. He said that everything takes practice and I would probably get better, and then talked about recently going river rafting for the first time, even though he'd lived around water his whole life. He told me about his dad's family business of fishing off the coast of Washington State. He has two brothers, and the three sons inherited the business/burden of working fishing boats. He hated it. He did it for 8 years and got sick every morning before work. He described the smell of coffee and cantaloupe in the morning, and his mom making lunches for all her boys. He talked about how he decided to leave the family business, and how his parents felt about it.

We talked for less than ten minutes, but the whole thing was awesome - candid, genuine. If I could have conversations like that 24 hours a day, I would. And the sandwich? Delicious.


  1. I love when that happens. And if you go back, it might not ever feel the same. But you had That Moment.

  2. I would take a leap and say we have those conversations all the time, but we're just not mindful of them. They usually come at us askance or from around the corner. Sometimes we're too preoccupied to hear the underlying hum that accompanies the words we barely hear.

    Oh, but pardon me, I've been reclusive lately, and that does something to one's balance, you know.