Yesterday I was overcome with a writing attack while driving down the road. For those of you who don't know the mental signs & symptoms of such an attack, let me explain. It starts like a boulder sitting atop the Mountain of the Mind. Something triggers a rolling descent and the next thing a soul knows, that boulder is rolling down thy thoughts at a pace that is damn near critical emotion.
It makes the person (or maybe this is just my own little affliction) hold their breath, their eye's go dazed....... panicked. Their hand may wave blindly around seeking a writing utensil and if this person is driving, well, you may notice only one eyeball is actually watching the road, one hand could be on the steering wheel, or knee driving may be employed. If they couldn't find a pen, they could be writing in the dust on the dashboard and they may even sit through a green light oblivious to the world around them. Don't honk, they could be writing a masterpiece, you just don't know.
The only medication for relief is a pen and paper (laptop if ones lucky enough to have one with them.) Now, since I already have this mental condition, I know the only safe course of action is to pull over at the first cafe, coffee shop or parking lot and write until the urgency has passed.
My attack brought me tire screeching into a little grease cafe yesterday. It was that, or the Pizza Hut across the street, no contest.... This was the sort of cafe that hasn't been updated, nor painted in a zillion years. It had the complimentary orange vinyl seat covers and an overbearing smell of bacon. It was perfect for my moment of need. I read the "seat yourself" sign, glanced around, saw not another soul eating and dived into the nearest booth next to the window. A coordinated gesture had my pen and paper on the table the moment my ass squeaked across the vinyl.
When my sweet little itty bity teenie tiny white haired waitress came up I admit, I barely gave her a glance when I ordered my pathetic little ticket worth of barely justifiable items to take up vinyl real estate. Diet Coke and a muffin. I was writing! I was in a panic! I needed to be left alone!
An hour later, three diet coke refills and half a muffin nibbled off, I finally felt at ease. That's when I finally paid attention to my sweet teenie little white haired waitress. She came over and asked if I'd like a fourth refill, pausing, looking at my carnage of papers scattered on the table and asked, "Are you writing a novel there sweetie?" I told her I honestly had no idea what the purpose of my writing was for, it's just something I must do.
And we talked, and talked some more. I asked questions and she asked me questions. She reminded me of my Grandmother Mary that passed away this year and she told me I reminded her of a granddaughter she hasn't seen in a very long time. She told me that she worked as a waitress because, "It feeds me 2 times a day and the money helps pay for things a person just needs in life."
That sentence was and IS a humanity gut punch. Remember what I wrote about my big huge soft spot for elderly? It makes me nauseous that someone so far along in their years has to work at a grease pit to earn money. Life should not be that way. She was too sweet, too old and too precious for such a station.
So, this is what I did. I got my $2.39 cent ticket. I took a hundred dollar bill out of my purse and wrapped it with 3 one dollar bills. I wrote her a note and folded it all together with the ticket wrapped around the outside. I left it on the table and walked out. I got in my car and watched through the window as she came over and unraveled my surprise.
All I will say was that was the best diet coke and muffin I've had my entire year. Well worth it.
Please take care of our elderly. Anyone can do what I did, and have done in the past. If not me, and if not you, then who? Even better then money is the gift of Time......Please do something kind for them, now, today, tomorrow.