Oh, heartache go away. Take your loss of hope and expectation.
Say it ain't so.
With a horrid dose of reality, life kicked me in my sitting-down spot last week when my favorite place for a tenderloin fix stopped fixing those tenderloins. Fixing anything. John Demory gave it up and closed Big John's, a great little bar in Bode.
At least, I think it's closed. Something could have happened between that plan and now, but if it has, I've not heard of it.
There's something to be said for being in the right spot at the right time. If we hadn't had a family reunion last weekend and hadn't stopped in Humboldt and hadn't read the notices on a board, I'd never have known John's was closing. Then I'd never have savored the last bite of a huge sandwich, never have talked to my friend Dee at the same round table while turning a too-big tenderloin over and over to find a perfect place to start eating. Never have relaxed in uncomplicated happiness.
Life changes. I understand that. But I don't have to like it.
This closing hurts more than most, perhaps, because in my dreams, the bar is called Sassy Sandy's or something equally inane. I pull the lever to draft the beer. I plan the menu. I even sweep the peanut shells around the floor to shine the old wood.
OK, I'd likely have somebody else do that, but it's my dream and I can boss if I want to.
Dreams transport a person to that spot where they're comfortable and happy. Dreams make almost anything come true. Almost anything. Even in my dreams I can't actually see myself standing next to Willie Nelson singing "Am I blue?"
No one could be blue if that were true, but that's beside the point.
The point is, it doesn't really matter if I dream of owning a small-town bar. It doesn't really matter if I'll need to find some other tenderloin just as good - though I doubt that will ever happen - and it doesn't really matter in the long scheme of things whether there's a place in Bode I can take my friends for lunch.
What really matters here is change. Big John's was. Now it's not. Change.
So, you see this woman walking down the street. She sees a kid kick at trash. She sees a pigeon flying to the top of a building. She watches stop lights switch from red to green and back again. Tears start to slide down her cheeks, bringing with them racking sobs. There's no place to sit, so she just stands there, huddled over, hands covering her face, holding in the hurt. Or trying to.
Why, you wonder, did that happen? What changed?
It doesn't really matter what changed - something set her off. It's a change that mattered to her, however inconsequential to the rest of the world.
Change of any kind can start waves spreading outward. You're a lucky person if that spreading change doesn't suck you into its path.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.