I definitely did some talking today. Out loud. To people. It was a cousin day. Lily met us with her bunch at the Hilltop and Jessie, August, and Levon came and picked me up and we drove over there. It's not very far from my house. The Hilltop is a "Country Store" with a few coolers of beer and drinks and a few shelves of things like bread and grits and cornmeal and cans of soup. But most people go there for the little cafe. I guess that's what they call it. Anyway, they cook and serve food and one of these days I need to get a good picture of the cake and deviled egg cooler at least.
The menu is shockingly extensive. Many fried items from fish to okra to green tomatoes (although not today) to french fries to onion rings to pork chops to chicken. They also have grilled chicken in sandwiches, chicken salad, chicken wings, and a chicken cheese Philly as well as chicken-fried steak. Which is not chicken.
Moving on there are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, barbecue, shrimp po'boys, Cuban sandwiches and Reubens. Also an entire menu of subs.
Of course you have your tuna salad, Krab salad, potato salad, regular salad, chef salad, and like I said- the chicken salad. All of the salads follow the standard Southern rule of being appropriately mixed with a goodly bounty of mayonnaise. Let's put it this way- if think you are getting less fat by ordering one of the salads than one of the fried items, you are fooling yourself.
There's a lot more. For instance- Gibson ate a meatball sub.
So no one ever goes hungry at the Hilltop. Every kind of person stops in to get filled and fulfilled. Old hippies, local folks in varying shades of human skin, workers from other countries, young parents, old grandparents, and anyone else you might think of. Two sheriffs came in today while we were ordering, dressed in their uniforms and carrying the seven hundred pounds of gear that sheriffs are all required to wear. They weren't there to eat but to lean against the counter where you pay and watch the FSU football game on the TV across from the cash register. They probably stayed about half an hour. There is a small TV on the counter where the kitchen folks can watch the game. People around here are as serious about FSU football as they are about fried food and mayonnaise.
Here's a picture I snagged off Facebook of Terez who is a HUGE FSU fan.
Anyway, after you order your food, you wait. There is a pew right across from where you order where you can sometimes find a seat.
Levon and August both think that Gibson and Owen are the coolest dudes in the world and Owen was showing Levon the Iron Man filter he has on his phone which can make anyone look like Iron Man. Levon was ecstatic.
There are also tables out back where you can wait and eat which is what we eventually did. Magnolia had brought a backpack filled with stuffed animals including old Beanie Babies that had belonged to her mother and Aunt Jessie when they were children. She carefully set them out and then began playing with them in some sort of imaginary situation using different voices and so forth.
Little Lily for sure.
I've done some tidying today and sweeping, a little laundry. I finally took the sweet potatoes that I dug which had been laying on an old piece of tablecloth on the back porch to age, and wiped off the dirt and put them in old onion bags that are ventilated and stuck those in a cabinet where hopefully they won't rot.
I tell you what- I really, really enjoy that even though I am simply so bad at it and make the same fucking mistakes I made when I was ten years old. Eight years old? Who knows? Whatever. I'm still making them. But it's okay. I love it. The notes on the pages are like my old friends that I'm visiting again, and the knowledge that no one in the world can hear me and that I am doing this simply for my own pleasure and that in a way I am making music (not a great way, but still, a way) is just so pleasurable. Even with my old, out-of-tune piano. It's voice is not unlike my own- so far from perfect, but still capable of a melody.
I know that it is not unusual for people to take music lessons in their older age but that is not anything I am interested in. It would be something entirely different. A sort of work, maybe. I think I would feel despair if I did not improve the way I thought I should, or that I would feel guilty if I did not practice or be afraid that I was annoying and disappointing a teacher. But mostly- it would no longer be only mine.
No need to say anything about that little speech. I feel the way I feel and I am completely at peace with it.
I mean that with all of my heart. Without you, I would be lonely. I really would.