Yesterday found me at a restaurant in Clearwater, South Carolina. I have been meeting a friend there every month for many years. When I arrived I ordered my Diet Coke and his unsweet tea, and opened my Kindle app to read a novel1.
My friend arrived, sat down, we said our little greetings, and the waiter materialized. I always get a #3 with no sauce on the burrito, and I know what he gets too. Before leaving Edgefield that morning the techs and I had spoken about lunch orders. I had said, “he always gets Nachos Supreme.” With my order placed the waiter turned expectantly to my friend. While hunting through the menu he spoke a little a la carte, “I want something with a little chicken,
a little salad…” A little voice in my head said, “Nachos Supreme.” He and the waiter said a few things while menu pages turned back and forth. The waiter spoke up. “Maybe Nachos Supreme?” “Yes, yes, that is good,” or something to that effect said my friend.
I suspect I chuckled and looked down at the table. In my mind’s eye I could see myself walking down a hall in the Edgefield eye clinic discussing an event very much like this.
On to the more serious…
The menu was closed and slid across the table to his right. The waiter picked it up and left to go about other things. The transition lenses that my friend was wearing as he arrived had cleared up and we moved on to other topics.
The topic that first rose among us was surely like that of many in our country these days: Donald Trump, the wall, pipelines from Canada and executive orders. Now while I keep up with these goings on I don’t easily lock in the back stories or passionately promulgate my opinions about the future. In general I am reticent to speak with great opinions on matters I only know partially. As Solomon recorded in the book of Proverbs, “The first seems right till another comes forward and questions him.” (There might be a mite of paraphrasing there; Google it if you’d like to chase it down.)
As we sat there I would share variously on these political matters, but it slowly became forced. My mind had to work hard. It reached here and there grabbing this story or that idea. I could almost feel my mind wadding them up into little compositions and shoving them out into conversation. These political notions became harder and harder and I found my end of the conversation sputtering out. Eventually I was just putting salt on my chips, forking in some Spanish rice and sipping my Coke.