In 1903 Orville Wright with his brother Wilbur placed a homemade, powered contraption into flight on a bluff in Kittyhawk North Carolina. Their invention, built in a bicycle shop in Ohio, shrunk the world. Orville would die in 1948, at the beginning of the birth of the jet age. Whether or not he was able to see a jet in flight is not important. One thing he never foresaw… the anguish that is a child who needs to go potty while the seatbelt sign is on.
Somewhere between Chicago and San Diego
“Cubs win!” It was by a rather large margin that day. Large enough that by the time it was official the stands had mostly emptied. All that remained were some die hards, security guards and the remnants of a good day spent at Wrigely.
Chicago Illinois. Iphone 6
Reading Market Philedelphia.
As beef sandwiches go, this one was pretty good. Sitting at a counter in a warehouse-turned market, I sat quietly as my friend complained to the owner.
“I don’t know what it is. You get away from Chicago and it’s like Giardinara doesn’t exist. I mean this sandwich is good, don’t get me wrong. But a little Giardinara would take it to a whole new level! I’m telling you, next time I come I’m bringing a jar. You’ll see what I’m talking about.”
He’s Italian so he talks with his hands. Seen from a distance, he’s conducting a symphony with a greasy napkin.
The commotion of the market has been constant. From across the aisle the fish monger occasionally yells to his helper further down the counter. At the butcher a group of firemen shop the meat and place a large order.
In the space an arms length away a man in a dark suit appears where there once was no one. On his lapel is a small American flag. From his ear twirls a pigtail of white wire. Then came the cameras. Still and video all walking backwards in a swarm.
As I wipe my hands with yet another napkin a small man with white hair puts out his hand. I shake it with a head nod, “Mr. Sanders…”
Written at 1AM in Syracuse NY…. post beer run across the street to the bodega (convienience store)
I love a good bodega. New York has the best. It’s true one stop shopping. I’ve never ventured into a bodega and NOT found what I’m looking for. It’s like fucking Mary Poppins’ purse in there.
I used to spend a lot time in Mexico as a child. In Mexico, the neighborhood bodega doesn’t have a name. It wasn’t like anyone said, “Go down to the ‘Quiki-stop-and-save’ (or some bullshit name) and get a loaf of bread.” Instead, these places usually were called by a first name. Sometimes but not always a female first name. “Take these empty coke bottles down to Maria’s and get new ones for dinner.” You would literally go down to Maria’s house and, if it was after hours, knock on the door. The bitch was either home or she wasn’t. You would walk into Maria’s converted living room and she would take your order from behind a makeshift counter. She always knew who you belonged to and she ALWAYS knew your family’s dirty laundry.
Maria was always kind of a bitch. I mean she had to be. For fuck’s sake she sold candy, beer and fireworks from the same little room while her husband sat watching futbol in his boxers within eye shot of everyone! Oh those fireworks… Remember when kids used to fold paper into triangles and kick fieldgoals with their fingers to another kid holding up finger goal posts? Maria would make the same paper triangles but she would fill them with gun powder and sell them to any kid weilding a peso or two. Many a telephone pole and mailbox felt the wrath of my pocket change.
The bodega is dying now, even in Mexico.
My last intimate experience with a bodega was while I was termporarly living in Queens NY. The owner was Guatemalan. He always knew what I needed even before I knew. The guy could whip up a tuna on toast with jalepenos and make it taste just like mom’s. I always bought a newspaper, even if I wasn’t going to read it. (Another thing I won’t let die.)
He never knew my name, but he always called me “primo.”
This isn’t my first rodeo and it’s definitely not my first blog. I’ve had 2. 2 blogs with two totally different themes. They were both OK at best and I would even go so far as to say I had a little bit of a following. One of them actually got me published. I had a friend who would edit posts for me and he hated both of the blogs. It wasn’t that the content or even the writing was bad it was what he finally said one day after ripping my shit apart. “Who are writing to? When I read this I can’t tell it’s you. Just write like you’re talking to me and stop writing liking your grandma is going to read this.” He was right.
So here’s the plan. As of today, November 9th 2015, I’ve spent 127 days in hotel rooms around the world since the beginning of the year. I travel for a living. It sounds awesome, I know, but the truth is for every great day on the road there are many more that plainly suck. This blog will be an escape. A chance for me to just write as I rot away in a hotel room. My commitment is to post every day that I’m sitting in a room not my own surrounded by tiny bottles of soap and shampoo. It will be done unedited and “off the cuff.” I will not plug this blog on social media or push it on anyone for the sake of readership. I cannot guaratee the soberness or the completion of thought. So with that being said, here goes…
I’ve only been to one rodeo.