Friday, September 12, 2014

Big Timber, Montana

Another small town early morning mist. Getting off the Greyhound for breakfast, the first thing you see are the mountains to the north which are still capped with snow altough it’s already early May. Flowers are blooming in the gardens of a few neighborhood houses. My vision is blurred by sleep but still I can hear the roosters crowing and the dogs barking in the distant farm houses to the east. Another day on the road for me and I’m already feeling vindicated by this life I chose. The Diner is another dive you have gotten used to on the road but the sizzling of frying bacon and the smell of fresh coffee is enough to convince me to sit down. The place is already packed at 6 in the morning. Farmers and old-timers each looking for their first morning pick-me-up. They all look at me the same way with enough curiosity followed by a welcoming nod. The waitresses are like a compilation of every single waitress I’ve encountered on the road. There’s Margie, the older one, who seems to be running the place. Shouting orders left and right to the younger waitress and to the cook. She sports a huge beehive hairdo that looks to me that it’s about to take off at any moment. Her wide broad smile and energy lights up the place and I’m sure by her out of place accent that she’s not originally from around here. I sit in a corner booth and the waitress who has that section is a pretty young thing by the name of Cathy. She clearly doesn’t want to be here, she is probably just saving enough money to get the first Greyhound out of here. Her eyes never meet the costumer’s, they just wander pass the windows, across the parking lot to I-90 and the cars speeding East and West without stopping. Her ways are casually distracted. She comes to take my order and I give her a smile but her stance is unperturbed. My eyes follow her for a moment but then begin to veer off to main street where the town is slowly waking up. Young kids with their backpacks waiting for the school bus. Dogs and thier owners taking their first morning stroll. Cars at a traffic light. The drivers not so anxiously as you’d expect, waiting for the light to change. Watching this makes me missmy hometown even more and I actually think that maybe one of these days I should just settle down in a place like this. Find a good woman, a job that pays enough to get by and just start again. My thoughts are interrupted by Cathy placing my plate on the table. I don’t even notice her at first, and only after she calls out to me, do I notice that she’s probably been standing there for a few seconds. I apologize by saying that I was only day dreaming. She responds by saying that that is her favorite hobby. I smile at her and this time she smiles back at me. I know that the nature of her day dreams are probably the opposite of mine but still I can’t help but think looking at her smile again, that I could settle here for awhile, knowing fully well that she has other plans than just hang around here for too long. I try to extend my smile towards her and she feels awkward about it, enough to excuse herself.  After I finish my meal I make my way to the exit. I stop before exiting the Diner and she catches me as she began to clear my table and says with a big smile on her face “Thank you and please come back again” and waves at me. I nod and wave goodbye back  at her and head to the bus who’s already ready to leave. And I’m thinking that I will be coming back again for sure when I’m ready to go home. 

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