Golden: part 4

Every morning started out the same, I would awake early having not adjusted to the new time schedule, make coffee and wait for Nick to wake up. For a man in his late sixties, he was always on the go and busy trying to make some deal happen. Breakfast was always at Gilbert’s on Main in downtown Bellevue. Nick and the owner had a history, a story I never heard. The owner was a raging alcoholic who would down a pint of Vodka in a day and couldn’t function in society. Now sober, he owned Gilbert’s, a deli with fresh bread and breakfast meals served inside or on the sidewalk patio. People lined up behind us as we stood in line waiting to see what the specials of the day were.
Ferraris and Lamborghini drove up and down the street with their loud exhaust, older men trying to attract younger women. You could smell the ocean in the air and if you were on the right street one could see the water in the distance. Gilbert’s reminded me of a few delis from my home town, with murals on the wall and young girls working behind the counter. In the back, near the restrooms, there was a wall lined with posters advertising events that would be coming up in the area. On the wall was a shelf of books and one of them stood out. I had never seen a hard cover copy of Kitchen Confidential Even though the book was a best seller on the NY times list it quickly went to soft cover and has continued to sell since. I pulled the book out and discovered it was a first edition. I couldn’t find a price on it and took it back to the table.
“what did you find?” Nick asked as I flipped through the book.
“A first edition of Kitchen Confidential was sitting on the shelf. I have never seen one before.”
Nick waved his friend over. The man looked at us through his glasses that made him look like the mole from A Wind in the Willows. Ni ck asked how much the book was. “Ahhh, it’s free. Keep it. I find stuff and put it over there for the customers to read. They take them home half the time. That’s the point.”
“Are you sure? I have cash.” I said ready to pull out my wallet.
“Nick doesn’t pay here. I tell him that all the time and he still tries to pay regardless. Take the book.” The man turned around and disappeared talking to other customers.
For breakfast I order the Smoked Salmon Scramble and it might have been one of the best breakfast meals I ever had. Fluffy eggs mixed with cream cheese and thin slices of salmon on top was complimented with grilled potatoes. The portions were huge, something you would serve the mountain on Game of Thrones.
After breakfast, we went around town for my supplies stopping at a local market. I picked out shampoo, soap, tooth brush and paste, coffee, post it notes and pens would be needed. Nick purchased the items and we went back to Walden.
“I have a history with Michigan,” Nick said as we drove down the highway. “I was seeing this Jewish girl, her family had more money than you could have imagined. We were supposed to get married and then I met this girl from Michigan. Ever been to Warren?” I shook my head knowing I had never intentionally visited there. “well, I don’t know what you guys are doing up there but I threw away a life time of security to be with her. She was amazing. You should have seen her.” His eyes drifted off longing for the pleasures of long ago. “but if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have my daughter. She is absolutely beautiful. Have I told you about my daughter?”
“No.” she had never come up before.
“I’ll show you a picture when we get back. She is gorgeous, takes after her mother. She moved out to New York and with in the first month she was on a billboard in Manhattan. I tell you she’s going places. Has a few jobs lined up. Maybe you’ll meet her one day.”
Nick only talked about his daughter. I learned over a year later that he had a son from a different marriage but he never talked about him. It was obvious who his favorite was.
His car was starting to act up. Once we pulled into the driveway, I took a look, being the amateur backyard mechanic that I am, and found a puddle under the motor. The red fluid on the ground said it all. “Your transmission has a leak,” I said showing him the pink tint on my finger.
“That son of a bitch. I’ve already had it in. they were supposed to fix that. He’s picking this up and fixing it today. I’m tired of this shit.” This was the first time I had seen Nick lose his temper. It wouldn’t be the last.
Inside Nick had called the garage and the guy was coming out to get the car. We would be driving in Sam’s car for the rest of the day if we went out. That day we didn’t. staying in and getting things ready for that night.
Behind the cabin was a small shack. “I picture that as Walden. I want to clean it out and turning it into a writing retreat. I want the whole cabin to be a retreat for writers like yourself. If you come out here, you’ll have a place to stay with like minded people.” Nick was being honest about his intentions.
I went back and forth about moving never truly thinking about it being a possibility. I had a house with an upside-down mortgage thanks to the 2008 financial crisis. There was all of my stuff and of course finding a job if I did. The $300 a month Nick was paying wasn’t going to cover my bills.
The shack was tiny and I could see there being a small desk and a typewriter inside. It would be something I would inspire to.
Nick took me on a hike that day. We went down the street and found the entrance to the trail. A tiny stream went through, something that flooded when it rained. He said that sometimes lost salmon would find their way up the pitiful stream. Seattle had been experiencing a drought for over a year and wild fires had even become an issue. I remembered reading about the fungus that was killing large numbers of salmon because of the high heat and the lack of water. This was the sixty acres of land that the cabin was built on, a public park.
We found large dead tree trunks from pine trees larger than anything I had seen in Michigan. The bridges appeared new and the trail was kept clean. You could tell that the area was taken care of by either the city or the locals. We emerged from the other side of the trail and Nick said it was the first time he had ever gone the whole way. I find that it is the people who are surrounded by great things who never appreciate them.
Back at Walden I made a pot of coffee, cracked open one of the 20oz beers and started my laptop. It was going to be a long night.

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The Usual Suspects

2020 is coming, too soon if you ask me. It’s not the year itself I have a problem with, it’s the barrage of political B.S. we will have to put up with by people running for office. Before I stopped watching/ listening to the news I noticed there were almost twenty people fighting to be the person to run against Trump. Out of everyone there was only one that I could see having a chance and he is not the guy that the media is pushing. This post isn’t about Andrew Yang, instead it’s about our weird marriage between news media and politics.
The Berning question you might have, see what I did there, is why not support Bernie? He was the guy that would have beat Trump back in 2016, the guy that should have received the nomination over Hillary Clinton but was bent over and plowed by his own party. Why can’t I back Bernie? He didn’t have the balls to stand up to his own party. His loyalty is in the wrong place and while loyalty can be a great trait to possess, to continue to engage in a relationship with a group that stabs you in the back, bends you over, and humiliates you in front of the world, if you are unable to learn what the true nature of a group is after experiencing such a betrayal then how the hell are you going to stand up against another party or another country? Bernie was my guy but he bitched out in the end.
When I heard Kamala Harris was running I rolled my eyes and shook my head. A professional liar, I mean lawyer, was the last thing we needed. She has changed her position on policies more than the number of people she sexually harassed while working as prosecuting attorney in the state of California. You don’t pay out 3 million in settlements when you are innocent.
Cory Booker is running and the only thing I know about him is that he is having sex with Rosario Dawson. Dude, I think you have better things to do than run for president. Enjoy your life.
Elizabeth Warren is an embaressment to herself. She took a DNA test to prove that she is part Native American and fail that test. When Trump became president she was formidable with his appointments to his cabinet but in the end she approved unqualified people and played along with his perverted agenda. Another betrayal.
Surfer babe, Tulsi Gabbard has not impressed anyone with a poorly stated message and coming off as “too chill” in my book. Tulsi is the stereotypical hot babe who is easy to look at but hard to listen to. A veteran of the middle east wars I have respect for her when it comes to serving the country but I have to say maybe it should stop there.
The rest of the group is a bunch of white men and women who already have weird scandals that I’m m starting to believe were fabricated to bring attention to their dying campaigns. The whole thing is a joke.
I found my guy early on and people love pointing out that it is the longest of long shots and I am fine with that. When I point out that Obama came out of nowhere, I receive weird rebuttals that border on racist without crossing the line. From one white person to another, I know what you’re really saying.
This time around I’m going to follow my guy, Andrew Yang and enjoy the ride as long as it last. If he gets a shot at the white house I’ll tune in and see what happens. When he is out of the race, so am I. I want something different, I want to have something real in this country. While we still have ancient turtles like Bitch McConnell keeping the country in a constant spiral down a toilet poop chute I have little hope of any change in this country. We need a plague and it can have the initial outbreak in the capital building. Nature may abhor a vacuum but an artist cannot create a masterpiece without a blank canvas.
I want to be excited. I want to wake up and hear what new breakthrough has happened. What has changed for the better. Instead, what we get is a flaccid, stagnant, impotent government that is too lazy to do anything but jerk each other off. The weather outside today is how the last couple of years have been, a dark dreary cool wet day with a lack of sunlight to have things grow and too cold to enjoy and one has no ambition to venture outside because of the dogshit on the lawn. We are all stuck in a bubble of our own making and until we build up the courage to go outside and face the fake boogiemen of our days that we will never end up having a better place to live.

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